Jayhawks Sweep Big 12 Runner of the Week Awards
IRVING, Texas – Following individual victories at the Rim Rock Classic last Saturday, two members of the Kansas cross country teams swept the Big 12 Conference Runner of the Week honors, the league office announced Tuesday afternoon. Senior Evan Landes claimed the men’s award after his 8K win at the Jayhawks’ home course, while freshman Sharon Lokedi snared the women’s honor with the help of her 6K title and leading her squad to the team victory.
Landes, who hails from Mulvane, Kansas, used a strong finish in the last kilometer to earn the individual victory and lead the Kansas men’s team Saturday morning at the Rim Rock Classic in Lawrence. In his first appearance at Rim Rock Farm since 2013, Landes looked right at home once again while picking up his first collegiate individual championship. The senior took over the lead with a mile to go and never looked back, using a strong kick to top the closest finisher by nearly 14 seconds. Landes posted an 8K time of 23:55.6 to earn the victory, which marked the third-straight year a Jayhawk came away as the champion from the Rim Rock Classic.
Lokedi got her season off to a good start with her first-career victory as a Jayhawk at the Rim Rock Classic. The Eldoret, Kenya native’s victory was never in doubt after she pulled away from the lead pack just over midway through the race. She widened the gap between her and the rest of the field over the remaining 2,000 meters and was able to coast down the homestretch as she came toward the finish. Lokedi completed the 6K loop in 20:42.4, the fastest finish by a Jayhawk at the Rim Rock Classic in four years. Her time was also just over six seconds faster than the runner-up, Rice junior Cali Rope. Lokedi’s performance also helped lead her Jayhawks to the team title after the squad amassed 23 points, placing six runners among the top-nine overall finishers.
Landes, Lokedi and the rest of their Jayhawk teammates will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 17 at the Pre-National Invitational in Louisville, Kentucky. The meet is slated to begin at 8:30 a.m. (CT), and will feature many of the top cross country squads in the nation. Log on to KUAthletics.com for a recap and results and follow @KansasXC for live updated throughout the morning.
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