Saggau’s Win Highlights Season Opening Bob Timmons Classic
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Sophomore Lydia Saggau ran to her first collegiate victory and helped lead the Kansas women’s cross country team to a win in its 2015 season debut Tuesday evening at the Bob Timmons Classic. The KU women saw five runners finish inside the top-seven in the meet held at Kansas’ home course, Rim Rock Farm. The Jayhawk men were led by freshman Dylan Hodgson, who claimed a third-place finish.
Freshman Dylan Hodgson claimed a third-place finish and was the top Jayhawk Tuesday at the Bob Timmons Classic.“Our women ran really well as a pack and I thought Lydia did great,” said head coach Stanley Redwine. “She had a really great summer of training and I think her performance proved that today. As a whole, the women’s team just competed really well and I think this meet was a good way for that group to start the season.”
The women’s team dominated the 5K race, claiming four of the top-five overall spots and placing eight of its runners in the top-10. Saggau’s victory marked the first of her career, as the West Des Moines, Iowa, native finished in a time of 18:04.8.
The women’s pack remained tight for the majority of the race before Saggau separated herself from the rest of the pack with less than 1,000 meters to go. The sophomore coasted to the victory as she crossed the finish more than 20 seconds ahead the runner-up, Kansas State’s Morgan Wedekind. The next three finishers were all Jayhawks. Junior Nashia Baker took third in 18:42.7, junior Courtney Coppinger was next after she traversed the 5K course in 18:50.2 to place fourth and sophomore Alaina Schroeder claimed fifth in 18:55.8.
Rounding out the women’s top seven was junior Jennifer Angles, who took seventh (18:59.6), junior Malika Baker who finished eighth (19:01.3) and junior Kelli McKenna who claimed ninth (19:06.1).
The race marked the second-straight year a KU women’s runner won the Bob Timmons Classic title after sophomore Grace Morgan claimed victory at the season-opening meet last season.
In the men’s race, the Kansas team was full of young faces as seven of the 10 Jayhawks which the Kansas coaches sent to the start line were seeing their first action as Jayhawks, but it was those new runners that turned some heads in the 6K race.
“I was proud with the way the men competed today,” said Redwine. “I though, for the most part, they executed well and it was nice to see some of our younger guys run well. Dylan looked strong and I hope he can keep contributing throughout the season like he did today.”
One of the few veterans running got the men’s pack Tuesday, junior James Hampton, got out to an early lead in the race and ran at the front the majority of the early portions of the race. Several other runner led the Kansas men’s pack over the next stages of the race but it was a freshman who took charge late in the race.
Washington, Kansas native Dylan Hodgson found himself out front of everyone with 600 meters remaining, hoping to follow Saggau’s lead and pick up his first collegiate victory. Though he was unable to hold off Minnesota seniors Aaron Bartnik and Adam Zutz over the final quarter-mile, Hodgson still managed to finish just 10 seconds back from the winner and lead the KU men’s squad, all in his first race as a Jayhawk.
Hodgson clocked in with a 6K time of 19:19.5 to take the third-place spot. Junior Daniel Koech was not far behind as he came across the finish two seconds later at 19:21.5 for fourth.
Another true freshman, Michael Melgares, was the next KU runner to finish as he completed his 6K loop in 19:31.0, good enough for seventh overall.
Rounding out the men’s scorers were Hampton (19:37.6), who claimed 10th and junior Jacob Ryan, who completed his 6K in 19:42.2 for finish 12th.
The Jayhawk men and women will now have over a month to prepare for their next meet, which will return them to their home course of Rim Rock Farm. The Rim Rock Classic is slated for Oct. 3 and will kick off at 9 a.m. with the men’s 8k, while the women’s 6K will begin at 10 a.m. Log on to KUAthletics.com to get a complete recap and results and follow on Twitter for live updates at @KansasXC.
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