Five KU runners earn All-Big 12 honors; Women take third at Big 12 Championship
AMES, Iowa – The Kansas cross country teams raced to history at Friday’s 2018 Big 12 Championship at the ISU Cross Country Course in Ames, Iowa. The Kansas women ran to a third place team finish, which marks the best performance at a conference meet in KU women’s cross country history. A total of five runners across the two teams placed in the top-15, earning All-Big 12 honors.
Senior Sharon Lokedi paced the Jayhawks with a fifth-place finish, clocking in with a time of 20:17.4, marking her fourth-consecutive All-Big 12 season. Freshman Ally Ryan’s 13th place finish rounded out KU’s All-Big 12 runners on the women’s side and was the best performance by a freshman since Lokedi’s 11th place finish in 2015.
Lokedi and Ryan’s performances along with the top-25 finishes of McKenzie Wilks and Riley Cooney helped the Jayhawks to their third place team finish.
On the men’s side, the Jayhawks had three runners finish in the top-15 earning All-Big 12 honors, the most All-Big 12 finishers for the men’s program since 2006 when Kansas also had three Big 12 performers. Senior Michael Melgares (10th), sophomore Ben Butler (12th) and redshirt junior Dylan Hodgson (13th) led the Kansas men to a fourth place team finish.
Head Coach Stanley Redwine
On the women’s historic third place finish:
“We’re really excited. We came in as a team and we wanted to compete as a team and we did. Obviously, everything doesn’t go your way the whole way throughout the race, but how can you not be excited about our finish for the team. That was the goal coming in and that’s what we accomplished.”
On building off of today’s performance moving forward to Regionals:
“It’s going to be a totally different race. We have to enjoy the rest of the day but put it behind us tomorrow and focus on what we need to do to be successful in that race.”
On the men’s performance:
“It’s really good to have three All-Big 12 finishers. I thought that they ran a complete race. We did have some people fall off at the end and fortunately enough everyone up front did their job, so we could finish fourth. It was a close race between third and fourth, 70-79. You’re looking at how do you get better? I just think that the athletes know, just a little bit more to go and we’ll be better. We have to be tough. We have to put this one behind us at the end of the day and get ready for the next one.”
- The Kansas women’s team’s third place finish is the best finish in team history.
- Freshman Ally Ryan’s 13th place finish is the best performance by a KU freshman since Sharon Lokedi’s 11th place finish in 2015.
- The KU men’s three All-Big 12 finishers senior Michael Melgares (10th), sophomore Ben Butler (12th) and redshirt junior Dylan Hodgson (13th) is the most finishers in the top-15 since 2006.
- Melgares’ 10th place finish is the best finish from the Kansas men’s team individually since 2015 when Jacob Morgan finished fifth.
5. Sharon Lokedi – 20:17.4
13. Ally Ryan – 20:55.1
20. McKenzie Wilks – 21:05.9
22. Riley Cooney – 21:07.5
32. Lauren Harrell – 21:26.5
40. Cameron Gueldner – 21:40.6
42. Megan Paule – 21:43.0
52. Catherine Liggett – 22:03.5
55. Hannah Driscoll – 22:08.9
10. Michael Melgares – 24:11.8
12. Ben Butler – 24:14.8
13. Dylan Hodgson – 24:17.8
19. Chris Melgares – 24:44.5
25. George Letner – 24:58.3
31. Chace Hale -25:27.9
32. Bryce Hoppel – 25:28.4
43. John Luder – 25:43.6
50. Ethan Donley – 25:57.4
The Jayhawks travel to Peoria, Illinois to compete at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on Friday, Nov. 9 at 10:30 a.m. at Newman Golf Course.
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