Meet Preview: NCAA Midwest Regional Championships
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas men’s and women’s cross country teams will continue the postseason portion of their 2019 season on Friday, November 15, as they compete in the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Hosted this year by Oklahoma State University (OSU), the meet will be held at its new, state-of-the-art cross country course, the OSU Cross Country Course, which recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation to make it one of the best for cross country competition across the nation.
The women’s 6K will get things started on the course at 10:30 a.m., followed by the men’s 10K at 11:30 a.m. Recognition of top runners and teams will immediately follow the second race of the day.
Results from Red Dirt Running can be followed here. For more information, visit the NCAA Cross Country (Midwest Regional) Championship page.
|Date||Friday, November 15|
|Race Time/Women||10:30 a.m., 6K championship race|
|Race Time/Men||11:30 a.m., 10K championship race|
|Meet Course||OSU Cross Country Course|
"On the men's side, we're healthy and focused. We've got to go out, run our team race and execute really well; especially the last mile to mile-and-a-half. "Michael Whittlesey, Ph.D. // Assistant Coach - Distance/Middle Distance
In their last time out, the KU cross country teams competed at the Big 12 Championships in Waco, Texas, on Saturday, November 2. The men came away with a top-five finish, as they placed fourth with 92 points, while the women’s team finished sixth with 167 points.
KU freshman Chandler Gibbens was the top finisher for the Jayhawk men, completing his 8K in 24:06.0, which was good for 12th place individually, earning him All-Big 12 Team honors. Gibbens was joined in the top-20 finishers by senior teammates Michael Melgares (24:10.1, 16th place) and Dylan Hodgson (24:12.5, 17th place) who helped pace the Jayhawk men to fourth place overall with 92 points. Iowa State was the men’s champion, followed by Oklahoma State and Texas while Kansas came in fourth and the top-five was rounded out by Texas Tech.
Meanwhile, the Jayhawk women finished just outside of the top-five teams in the conference, coming in sixth with 167 points. Kansas’ top-four runners all were among the top-40 in their field, which included junior Cameron Gueldner (21:43.4, 30th place), freshman Lona Latema (21:54.7, 35th place), sophomore Ally Ryan (21:57.1, 36th place) and senior Riley Cooney (22:00.0, 39th place).
"On the women's side, we're not at full strength, but we've got a squad that is going to go out and get the job done. If we can pack up and run as a pack, and execute that a lot better than we have been doing, then I think we will have a pretty good result. "Whittlesey
- Last fall at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships at Newman Golf Course in Peoria, Illinois, the Kansas women finished sixth out of the 34 total teams competing, accumulating 229 points.
- The Jayhawk women are looking for a new leader on the course this season at the Regional meet, as All-American Sharon Lokedi was KU’s top finisher in each of the last four seasons: 2015 (third place), 2016 (second place), 2017 (second place) and 2018 (second place). With her Regional finishes, Lokedi advanced on to the NCAA Championships in each of her four seasons on the cross country course the for Jayhawks where she ran to one top-five finish, another top-10 placings and two other top-50 performances on the national stage.
- Among those possible leaders may be junior Cameron Gueldner, freshman Lona Latema, sophomore Ally Ryan and senior Riley Cooney, each of whom finished among the top-40 runners at the 2019 Big 12 Championship on Nov. 2 in Waco, Texas.
- Traveling to Stillwater to compete at OSU Cross Country course for the 6K championship race at 10:30 a.m., Friday morning is the Jayhawk lineup of: Alexys Barton, Kalea Chu, Riley Cooney, Cameron Gueldner, Lona Latema, Lisa Lauschke, Catherine Liggett and Sarah Scott.
- After a fourth-place team finish at the 2019 Big 12 Cross Country Championship, the KU men are looking to build off that team momentum heading into the Midwest Regional meet.
- The Jayhawks will look to freshman Chandler Gibbens to once again lead the way for the men’s team in Stillwater, after his impressive 12th-place individual showing — earning him All-Big 12 Team honors — at the conference meet a few weeks ago.
- In addition to Gibbens, the Kansas men have experience in this particular meet over the past three seasons with current team members Michael Melgares crossing the finish line first for the Jayhawks in both 2016 and 2017, who was followed by Dylan Hodgson taking the top spot for the KU men a season ago.
- The Jayhawks will have eight men competing in this year’s Midwest Regional 10K, slated to start at 11:30 a.m., Friday morning: Ben Butler, Ethan Donley, Chandler Gibbens, Dylan Hodgson, George Letner, John Luder, Michael Melgares and Jake Ralston.
Dependent upon the outcomes of Friday’s races, Kansas cross country could be back in action to wrap up the 2019 season at the NCAA Championships on Saturday, November 23, at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Indiana. Start times on Championship Saturday include the women’s 6K at 10:15 a.m. (CT) while the men will follow at approximately 11:15 a.m. (CT). For more information on the 2019 NCAA Championships, please visit: https://www.xctownusa.com/ncaa.