Kansas Men and Women Take Fifth at Midwest Regional

Men’s Results: Team | Individual

Women’s Results: Team | Individual

NCAA Midwest Regional Championships
ISU Cross Country Course // Ames, Iowa

Sophomore Hannah Richardson earned All-Region honors for the first time in her career after posting an 11th-place finish Friday at the Regional Championships.
KU Men’s Top 7 Finishers (193 Total)
Name Year Time
12. Reid Buchanan JR 30:43.5
17. Evan Landes JR 30:51.6
19. Josh Munsch SR 30:52.5
27. James Wilson JR 31:06.0
82. Tyler Yunk FR 32:10.0
96. Brendan Soucie JR 32:28.8
142. Daniel Koech FR 33:14.3


Men’s Top 5 Team Finishes (20 Teams)
Team Pts. Av Time
1. Oklahoma State 45 30:38.3
2. Tulsa 57 30:43.5
3. Iowa State 113 30:59.0
4. Oklahoma 156 31:08.8
5. Kansas 157 31:08.8
KU Women’s Finishers (202 Total)
Name Year Time
11. Hannah Richardson SO 20:41.3
27. Natalie Becker SR 21:12.4
46. Malika Baker FR 21:34.1
50. Nashia Baker FR 21:38.8
84. Courtney Coppinger FR 21:56.6
126. Rachel Simon FR 22:33.0
131. Hayley Francis JR 22:35.0


Women’s Top 5 Team Finish (30 Teams)
Team Pts. Av Time
1. Iowa State 39 20:34.6
2. Minnesota 59 20:43.7
3. Oklahoma State 192 21:22.4
4. Southern Illinois 217 21:24.8
5. Kansas 218 21:24.7

AMES, Iowa – For the first time in ten seasons both the Kansas men’s and women’s cross country teams posted top-five finishes at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships as the Jayhawks competed Friday afternoon at the Iowa State Cross Country Course. Junior Reid Buchanan earned an automatic bid to Nationals with his 12th-place finish and will be the first Jayhawk since 2010 to compete at the NCAA Championships to be run next Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind. Both teams’ finishes also made them candidates to earn at-large bids to their respective National Championship races, whose fields will be announced Saturday afternoon.
“Our men had a great race today and our front four really stepped up,” said assistant coach Michael Whittlesey. “Reid was outstanding and really ran well down the home stretch to sure up that fourth and final automatic spot. I’m also tremendously proud of what the women have done this year. They came into the season not even ranked in this region and they just kept taking little bites and working at it. It just shows what a great year and race it was for them to get up to fifth.”
The KU men entered the event ranked ninth among the members of the Midwest Region in the most recent regional rankings, however proved that poll wrong with a stellar performance in Friday afternoon’s 10K race. As was the case all season, the Jayhawks’ top four runners of Buchanan, senior Josh Munsch and juniors James Wilson and Evan Landes quickly separated themselves through the first 1,000 meters. The trek became a bit more difficult from Buchanan though after his shoe fell off within the first four minutes of the race.
Forced to run the remainder of the 6 mile competition without his right shoe, Buchanan continued to run alongside his teammates who had remained less than a second from the leaders after the first 5,000 meters. The Manhattan, Kan., product began to put some space between he and his fellow Jayhawks at the 8K marker and used a strong kick in the closing chute to post the highest finish by a KU runner in three seasons. Buchanan completed the 10K course in a personal best time of 30:43.3 to finish 12th overall. His place made him the fourth finisher not a member of an auto-qualifying team, meaning he claimed the final individual automatic spot at the NCAA Championships.
Buchanan wasn’t the only Jayhawk to turn in a career outing as Landes and Munsch also tallied top-25 finishes. Landes crossed the finish in 30:51.6 to place 17th overall, while Munsch came in less than a second later (30:52.5) to take 19th. Their finishes marked the first time since 2006 a men’s team saw three claim top-25 finishes at the Regional meet. The KU trio’s finishes also earned each All-Region honors for the first time in their careers.
Junior James Wilson missed a spot in the top-25 by less than two seconds. The Abilene, Kan., native finished 27th overall with a 10k time of 31:06.0. Rounding out the Jayhawks’ top-five was freshman Tyler Yunk, who traversed the course in 32:10.0 to finish 82nd.
The men placed fifth overall after amassing 157 points and were just one point away from tying fourth-place Oklahoma. The finish was KU’s best since the 2006 squad took second at the regional meet and puts the Jayhawks in the mix to earn one of 13 at-large team bids to the National Championships.
The Kansas women also tallied a noteworthy performance in Ames as the team tied for the program’s highest regional finish in the Redwine era. Sophomore Hannah Richardson again led the way for the Jayhawks, closing strong in the final mile to post the highest regional finish by a KU woman in four years. The Glendale, Mo., native finished her 6K in 20:41.3, her fastest at that distance, which was good enough to give her an 11th-place finish. Her performance was enough to make her an All-Region selection and gives her a chance to claim an at-large individual bid to next week’s national meet.
Senior Natalie Becker concluded her KU cross country career with her fastest 6K as a Jayhawk, which nearly notched her a top-25 placement. Becker’s time of 21:12.4 put her at 27th, two seconds off from 25th-place. It was three freshmen that then completed KU’s top-five finishers. Malika and Nashia Baker again turned in outstanding performances as Malika took 46th with her 6K time of 21:34.1, with Nashia not far behind at 50th in 21:38.8. The twins’ finishes marked the first time since 2003 the Jayhawk women saw four finish inside the top-50 at the regional race. Freshman Courtney Coppinger was the final Jayhawk to score as she finished 84th-overall after posting a time of 21:56.6.
Friday’s race marked one of the most successful meets collectively for the men’s and women’s cross country teams. KU saw both squads finish in the top-5 of their respective regions for just the second time since 2000.
The Jayhawks will now be forced to wait and see if they are awarded at-large bids when the official NCAA Championship fields are released Saturday afternoon by the NCAA. Buchanan has assured himself a ticket to the meet to be held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course. The men’s 10k is slated to begin at 12 p.m. (ET).
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