Lokedi’s Top-Five Finish Highlights KU’s Day at Pre-Nationals

E.P. Tom Sawyer Park \ Louisville, Ky.

Senior Jacob Morgan led the charge for the KU men Saturday at Pre-Nationals.
KU Women’s Top-5 Finishers (311 Total)
Name Year Time
4. Sharon Lokedi FR 20:08.3
138. Nashia Baker JR 21:21.9
141. Malika Baker JR 21:22.6
143. Lydia Saggau SO 21:25.3
156. Jennifer Angles JR 21:29.7
KU Women’s Top-5 Team Finishes
(8 Total)
School Points Average
1. Michigan 131
2. Colorado 151
3. Oregon 175
4. Stanford 244
5. Miss State 247
19.  Kansas 565
KU Men’s Top 5 Finishers (288 Total)
Name Year Time
82. Jacob Morgan SR 24:14.1
85. Evan Landes SR 24:14.5
158. James Hampton JR 24:41.6
209. Daniel Koech JR 24:59.6
218 Chris Melgares SO 25:02.4
KU Women’s Top 5 Team Finishes
(42 Total)
School Points Average
1. Colorado 89
2. Oregon 151
3. Arkansas 164
4. UTEP 197
5. Georgetown 214
29.  Kansas 752



LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Freshman Sharon Lokedi tallied a fourth-place finish among some of the top runners in the NCAA as she led the KU women at the Pre-National Invitational Saturday morning at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park. Lokedi’s performance marked the best finish ever by a Jayhawk at the Pre-National meet and helped the KU women to a 19th-place finish. The Kansas men finished 29th as a team and were paced by senior Jacob Morgan, who finished 82nd overall.
“Sharon had a great performance today,” said head coach Stanley Redwine. “It shows that she’s in great shape and that she’s excited about competing well. Nineteenth-place is a good finish for the women but we’re not totally satisfied. We need to continue to work as a team and work on running a great team race.”
Two weeks removed from her first collegiate win in her first collegiate race, Lokedi looked like a seasoned veteran as she went toe-to-toe with some of the best cross country runners in the country. The Eldoret, Kenta native was making her first appearance at the Pre-National meet, which has many similarities to the NCAA Championships to be held at the same course in mid-November.
Lokedi stuck with the front pack from start to finish. She crossed the halfway-point in second place overall, closing out the first 3,000 meters in 9:57.8. The second half of the race was more of the same and as the front smattering of runners begin to kick for the finish, the KU freshman stuck right with them. Lokedi completed her second 3K in 10:10.6 and was passed by a pair of upperclassmen down the home stretch but still managed to put the final touches on an impressive performance.
Lokedi crossed the finish in 20:08.3, good enough for fourth place and just eight seconds behind the individual champion, Colorado junior Erin Clark. The Jayhawk’s finish was the highest at the Pre-National meet ever by a KU female as Lokedi was the top KU finisher for the second-straight week.
The KU women saw a tight pack finish around 70 seconds back from Lokedi, with the Jayhawks’ next four finishers all coming across the finish within eight seconds of one another. Junior Nashia Baker took 138th with her 6K time of 21:21.9 and was followed closely by her sister, junior Malika Baker, who traversed the course in 21:22.6 for 141st overall. Sophomore Lydia Saggau came in at 143rd in her first outing since claiming victory at the season-opening Bob Timmons Classic. Saggau posted a final time of 21:25.3. Junior Jennifer Angles was next at 156th after she crossed the finish in 21:29.7.
Juniors Courtney Coppinger (193rd, 21:41.6) and Kelli McKenna (199th, 21:43.9) rounded out the KU scoring. The women finished with 565 total points to finish 19th overall.
Unlike the Jayhawk women, the Kansas men had difficulty getting their runners into the lead pack from the starting gun. With 288 total runners jockeying for position over a narrow opening stretch of the course, the Jayhawks were unable to work their way toward the leaders after getting boxed in early.
The men didn’t run as a team today, they ran as seven individuals and that’s what cost us,” said Redwine. “In a race like this, it’s tough to make places up if you didn’t get out strong and that’s what happened. We didn’t execute our race plan.”
Seniors Jacob Morgan and Evan Landes were once again the top runners for their team. Both Jayhawks ran with one another for the entirety of the race but were unable to use their strong kicks over the latter stages of the race to move up in position among the congested field.
Morgan and Landes finished just a second apart, with Morgan crossing in 82nd-overall in an 8K time of 24:13.4 and Landes in 85th in 24:14.5.
The senior duo was followed by junior James Hampton, who came across the finish in 24:41.6 for 158th overall. The next three Jayhawks to finish were junior Daniel Koech (209th, 24:59.6), sophomore Chris Melgares (218th, 25:02.4) and junior Jacob Ryan (249th, 25:18.9). Freshman Dylan Hodgson was the final KU finisher after he finished his 8K in 25:21.7 for 256th place.
The KU men amassed a total of 752 total points, which was good enough for 29th place in the team standings.
Both the Jayhawk squads will now have two weeks to prepare the Big 12 Championships, which will be held in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Oct. 31.
“The Big 12 meet will be totally different from today in that the field will be much smaller, but it will still be important to run a great team race,” Redwine concluded. “It’s not going to be easy but I think we’ve proven that we can run well in races like the one will see in Stillwater.”
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