Meet Preview: Big 12 Championship
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas men’s and women’s cross country teams begin the postseason portion of their 2019 season on Saturday, November 2, as they compete in the Big 12 Cross Country Championship in Waco, Texas. The annual meet, now in its 24th season, is being hosted by Baylor this year at the Cottonwood Creek Golf Club.
The men’s 8K will get things started on the course at 10 a.m. (CT), followed by the women’s 6K at 11 a.m. (CT). The races will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ while live results from Delta Timing can be followed here. For more information, visit Big 12 Cross Country Championship Central.
|Date/Time||Saturday, November 2|
|Meet Course||Cottonwood Creek Golf Club|
|Race Time/Men||8K Race, 10 a.m. (CT)|
|Race Time/Women||6K Race, 11 a.m. (CT)|
For the second-straight meet, the Jayhawks will race against some of the top competition in the NCAA. For the men, three teams are ranked in the top-30 of the USTFCCCA coaches’ poll: Iowa State at No. 5, followed by Oklahoma State and Texas, which are ranked No. 27 and No. 30, respectively. Oklahoma State is lone women’s team from the conference to earn a national ranking, checking in at No. 29.
"Competing against top-caliber teams from across the nation (at the Pre-National Invitational) let our runners and teams know how good we can be when we put it all together on the same day."Stanley Redwine, Head Coach
At the Pre-National Invitational on October 19, freshman Chandler Gibbens donned the Crimson and Blue for the first time this year and led the men’s team to a top-20 finish in what was slated to be the fastest race of the day. Running well as a pack, the Jayhawks came away with a 19th-place finish out of 38 teams in their division. Gibbens crossed the finish line in 21:14.2, which made him 33rd individually. Not too far behind was junior teammate Ben Butler, who was 41st with his time of 24:21.8.
For the third time this season, sophomore Ally Ryan led the Jayhawk women’s contingency of runners, ultimately crossing the finish line with a time of 21:44.3, good for a 129th-place finish out of 252 total runners in the field. The Kansas women placed 36th overall as a team in the Blue Race.
Congratulations to the 1️⃣7⃣ Jayhawk student-athletes who were named to the Academic All-Big 12 Cross Country teams today! #RockChalk | #KUxc
Read more about our honorees here → https://t.co/lic3CKrPSw pic.twitter.com/L9rEg5CTUG
— Kansas Track & Field (@KUTrack) October 31, 2019
Earlier this week, the league office announced 155 cross country student-athletes as members of the Academic All-Big 12 Teams. Of those recognized for their work not only on the cross country courses, but in the classrooms as well, Kansas led the way on the men’s side with 10 recipients while the Jayhawk women garnered seven honorees, all of which were on the First Team.
- The Kansas women’s third-place finish last year marked their best finish at a conference meet in the history of the program, which dates back to 1975. The Cyclones of Iowa State claimed the team title for a second-straight season in 2018. The Jayhawks are looking for a fresh face to pace the team this year among their league foes, as All-American Sharon Lokedi was the top performer for KU each of the past four seasons.
- Sophomore Ally Ryan has led the Jayhawks on the trails so far in 2019, going undefeated at Rim Rock Farm in the first two meets of the season. Her two first-place finishes helped the women’s team claim both the Bob Timmons Classic and the Rim Rock Collegiate Classic titles. At the Pre-National Invitational, she crossed the finish line first for the Jayhawks with a time of 21:44.3, good for a 129th-place finish out of 252 total runners in the field.
- Eight women will don the Crimson and Blue on Saturday in the 6K at 11 a.m.: Alexys Barton, Riley Cooney, Cameron Gueldner, Lona Latema, Lisa Lauschke, Catherine Liggett, Ally Ryan and Sarah Scott.
- At the 2018 Big 12 Cross Country Championship, the KU men placed fourth. Host Iowa State claimed the men’s team title, making it a sweep for the Cyclones teams.
- Dylan Hodgson was the top performer for the Jayhawk men at last year’s league meet, finishing 29th with his time of 31:42.4. The two seasons prior, Michael Melgares led the way for Kansas, placing 52nd in 2017 with his clocking of 30:11.1 and crossing the finish line in 32nd place in 2016, running a time of 31:00.3. Both Hodgson and Melgares are slated to compete for the Jayhawks Saturday morning in Waco.
- The Jayhawks will have 10 men competing in this year’s 8K, slated to start at 10 a.m.: Teddy Buckley, Ben Butler, Ethan Donley, Chandler Gibbens, Dylan Hodgson, George Letner, John Luder, Michael Melgares, Jake Ralston and Jack Young.
Kansas cross country will be back in action for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on Friday, November 15. Race times at the OSU Cross Country Course are yet to be released. The OSU Cross Country Course recently underwent multi-million dollar renovation in preparation for this year’s Midwest Regionals and the upcoming 2020 NCAA Cross Country Championships.