Jayhawks run to second-straight sweep of 2018
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas cross country teams swept the second meet of the season at the Rim Rock Classic on Saturday morning at Rim Rock Farm, with both men’s and women’s teams taking first.
The back-to-back victories mark the first time the women’s team has won the first two meets of the season since 2015, while the men’s team last won its first two contests in 2013.
Senior Sharon Lokedi outran the next closest competitor by nearly two minutes, clocking the best 6K of her career to win with a time of 19:49.4. Lokedi’s personal record time was just one second off of setting a Rim Rock Farm record that was set by Crystal Nelson of Iowa State at the 2014 Big 12 Championships.
Freshman McKenzie Wilks was the next Jayhawk to cross the finish line, running a time of 21:41.6 for second place.
On the men’s side, redshirt junior Dylan Hodgson was the top finisher for the Jayhawks, coming up just one second shy of running the best 8K of his career. Hodgson crossed the finish line at the 24:30.7 mark.
Senior Michael Melgares and sophomore Ben Butler followed closely behind finishing in fourth and fifth, running 24:38.6 and 24:43.5, respectively.
Assistant Coach Michael Whittlesey
On the women’s performance today:
“With the women, I thought we did a really nice job, especially early on. The group got out well. We started to separate a little bit earlier than I thought we were going to, but competitively I thought our women’s team competed really well person-to-person. If they fell off of the group, they did a really nice job of staying focused on the person in front of them and closing the gap. I thought we competed really tough. We’ve got to close a couple of holes to fill in our time gap a little bit better, especially when we get to the next few races where it’s going to be a bigger field and those time gaps are going to hit us a little bit harder, but competitively we did a real nice job today.”
On the men’s performance:
“On the men’s side, we did a really nice job of keeping that pack tight for a long time. Our number five runner fell off around the four-mile mark and we just need to tighten that up a little bit more. I thought they did a really nice job of running the team concept race that we were trying to get done. Dylan (Hodgson) did a nice job up front. He looked really controlled and so did Mike (Michael Melgares). We had a couple guys that fell off mid-race and they did a nice job of coming back on late. We’ve just got to tighten that part up a little bit more where if they fall off they can close back up a lot quicker than waiting a couple miles.”
Senior Sharon Lokedi
On her last race at Rim Rock Farm:
“It was pretty emotional, just running it and knowing it’s your last time running here, wearing Kansas across your chest. I’ve had so much fun running here and it felt great having a lot of people cheering and running it here with all of the fans and my team and my coaches. I’m honored. It was sad, but I’m just so happy and so grateful I got to run here for four years and that I got to run a good race today to kick off my season.”
On looking forward to the rest of the season:
“From here on, we have Pre-Nats two weeks from now, so just looking forward to that and just going back and keep working. Just working as a team and just hoping for a great season ahead.”
1. Sharon Lokedi – 19:49.4
3. McKenzie Wilks – 21:41.6
7. Megan Paule – 22:03.2
8. Riley Cooney – 22:05.0
11. Catherine Liggett – 22:12.4
12. Hannah Driscoll – 22:17.6
20. Cameron Gueldner – 22:47.5
56. Lisa Lauschke – 24:11.3
2. Dylan Hodgson – 24:30.7
4. Michael Melgares – 24:38.6
5. Ben Butler – 24:43.5
10. Chris Melgares – 24:55.6
13. George Letner – 25:09.8
14. Ethan Donley – 25:15.4
16. John Luder – 25:19.9
29. Bryce Hoppel – 25:45.5
85. Quanah Gardiner – 26:55.6
The Jayhawks travel to Madison, Wisconsin for the Pre-National Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 13. The races are set to begin at 11 a.m. at Zimmer Championship Course.
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