Morgan Leads Jayhawks at ISU Pre-Nationals

ISU Pre-National Invitational
LaVern Gibson \ Terre Haute, Ind.

Sophomore Nashia Baker led the men’s squad
for the third time this season with a 29th-place finish at the ISU Pre-National Invitational
KU Men’s Top 5 Finishers (309 Total)
Name Year Time
29. Jacob Morgan JR 24:50.1
146. Chris Melgares FR 25:45.7
189. James Hampton SO 26:04.7
190. Tyler Yunk SO 26:04.9
230. Ben Burchstead FR 26:22.7


KU Men’s Top 5 Team Finishes
(46 Total)
School Points Average
1. Colorado 38 24:19.14
2. Oregon 88 24:31.86
3. Georgetown 143 24:49.36
4. Furman 257 25:05.34
5. Colorado St. 267 25:03.14
33. Kansas 784 25:49.62
KU Women’s Top 5 Finishers (296 Total)
Name Year Time
116. Nashia Baker SO 22:12.0
125. Rachel Simon SO 22:15.0
156. Grace Morgan FR 22:27.8
169. Hayley Francis JR 22:32.7
181. Kelli McKenna SO 22:35.6


KU Women’s Top 5 Team Finishes
(43 Total)
School Points Average
1. Georgetown 110 21:09.46
2. Oregon 139 21:16.64
3. Michigan 143 21:14.84
4. Colorado 186 21:22.16
5. North Carolina St 233 21:29.46
32. Kansas 747 22:24.62

Blue Race Results: MEN  |  WOMEN

Open Race Results: MEN  |  WOMEN

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. –  Junior Jacob Morgan collected an impressive 29th-place finish and led the Kansas men’s cross country team to a 33rd-place finish at the Indiana State Pre-National Invitational Saturday at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course. Sophomore Nashia Baker was the top Jayhawk finisher on the women’s side for the third-straight race and led the group to place 32nd. Both the men’s and women’s races featured over 300 runners and many of the top-ranked teams in the nation at the same course that will host the NCAA Championships in November.
Morgan, who hails from Topeka, Kansas, was the top finisher on the men’s side for the third time this season. The junior was forced to navigate through throngs of some of the top distance runners in the country, which was especially difficult early in the race. Morgan came through the 2K checkpoint in 66th overall but used the next 1,000 meters to make a strong charge toward the leaders. He ran the next kilometer in 3:03.1 to check in at 26th with just over half the race still to go.
Morgan maintained his position for the remainder of the race, completing the last 3K in 9:21.6 to finish 29th overall. He traversed the Championship course in 24:50.1, averaging a consistent 3:06.3 split for each kilometer. Morgan was one of three runners from the Big 12 Conference to place among the top-30 finishers.
Freshman Chris Melgares was the next Jayhawk to come down the finish chute, completing his 8K just under a minute later, in 25:45.7, to finish 146th overall. Sophomores James Hampton and Tyler Yunk followed with nearly identical finishes. Hampton placed 189th in 26:04.7 while Yunk was not far behind, posting a 190th-place finish in 26:04.9. Freshman Ben Burchstead rounded out the KU men’s scoring with his time of 26:22.7, which was good enough to earn him 230th place
The Jayhawk men combined to amass 784 points and finished 33rd in the 46-team field.
It was a familiar scene for the KU women as Baker led the team for the third-straight race. Like Morgan, Baker got caught behind the congested number of competitors in the early stages of the race, coming through the 3K checkpoint in 154th. Once the field began to spread out during the second half of the race, she made her move toward the leaders. Baker jumped 23 spots over the last 2,000 meters to complete her 6K by tallying a 116th-place finish after traversing the course in 22:12.0.
Sophomore Rachel Simon was not far behind her teammate, clocking in just three seconds later in a time of 22:15.0, which earned her a 125th-place finish. Freshman Grace Morgan also stuck close with her Jayhawk teammates after she posted a 6K time of 22:27.8 and a 156th-place finish.
Junior Hayley Francis and sophomore Kelli McKenna each ended their days less than 10 seconds after Morgan. Francis finished the loop in 22:32.7, good for 169th and McKenna in 22:35.6 for a 181st-place finish
The Jayhawk women saw their top-five scorers finish within 27 seconds of each other and combine to tally a score of 747 points. The total earned the squad a 32nd-place finish in the 43-team field.
The Jayhawk cross country teams will be back in action on Saturday, Nov. 1, when they host the Big 12 Championships at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence. The women’s 6K is slated to begin at 10 a.m., while the starting gun for the men’s 8K is set to go off at 11 a.m. Admission is free to the public. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.