Three Jayhawks Earn All-Conference Status at Big 12 Championships

Big 12 Championships
OSU Cross Country Course \ Stillwater, Okla.

Freshman Sharon Lokedi led the KU women to their highest finish at the Big 12 meet in program history.
KU Women’s Top 5 Finishers (88 Total)
Name Year Time
11. Sharon Lokedi FR 21:09.6
17. Lydia Saggau SO 21:30.2
32. Nashia Baker JR 21:58.3
34. Malika Baker JR 22:05.8
39. Kelli McKenna JR 22:10.8


Women’s Top-5 Team Finishes (10 Total)
School Points Average
1. Oklahoma State 34 21:01
2. Iowa State 52 21:13
3. West Virginia 118 21:42
4. Kansas 129 21:47
5. Oklahoma 152 21:59
KU Men’s Top 5 Finishers (82 Total)
Name Year Time
5. Jacob Morgan SR 24:21.2
15. Evan Landes SR 24:59.8
25. Chris Melgares SO 25:23.6
28. James Hampton JR 25:27.6
41. Daniel Koech JR 26:00.0


Men’s Top-5 Team Finishes (9 Total)
School Points Average
1. Oklahoma State 28 24:26
2. Oklahoma 50 24:40
3. Texas 83 25:06
4. Iowa State 93 25:09
5. Kansas 111 25:15



STILLWATER, Okla. – Top-15 finishes from seniors Jacob Morgan and Evan Landes as well as freshman Sharon Lokedi highlighted the KU cross country teams’ days at the Big 12 Championships hosted at Oklahoma State Cross Country Course. Lokedi led the women’s squad to a fourth-place finish, the highest at a Big 12 meet in program history, while Morgan’s fifth-place finish helped his squad to a fifth-place finish in the team standings.
Seeing her first-career conference meet, Lokedi, looked to continue the blazing start to her KU cross country career Saturday. The Eldoret, Kenya native entered the day having not posted a finish lower than fourth so far this season. Lokedi began her race Saturday in similar form to her other outings this year, getting out to the front of the lead pack early and holding her position over the first half of the race. She crossed the halfway point of the 6K race in first overall with a 3K pace of 10:09.7.
Lokedi continued to hold the lead over the next mile but began to fall in the standings over the final 1,000 meters. She came to the closing stretch not guaranteed a top-15 finish, but used a strong kick to cross the finish line in 11th-place overall. Lokedi posted a final 6K time of 21:09.6 to earn All-Big 12 honors and claim the highest finish among all freshman in the race.
“I was really excited to see Sharon finish where she did,” said head coach Stanley Redwine. “I know she was looking to finish higher than where she did but I was really pleased with how she competed. She made a mistake of maybe trying a little too hard in the early parts of the race but I’ll never be upset with an aggressive mistake like that. It was a great lesson learned that I’m sure she’ll get better from. As a team, the ladies competed well. We need to continue working together as a group like we did today and we’ll continue to see these good finishes.”
Lokedi wasn’t the only Jayhawk who had a standout performance. Sophomore Lydia Saggau came across the finish just over 20 seconds behind her freshman teammate, just two spots away from claiming All-Big 12 honors for herself. Saggau posted a 17th-place finish with the help of a clocking of 21:30.2.
Not far behind were juniors Nashia Baker and Malika Baker, who finished 32nd and 34th, respectively. Nashia traversed the course in 21:58.3, while Malika notched a time of 22:05.8. Following the Baker sisters was junior Kelli McKenna, who came across as the Jayhawks’ fifth and final scorer in 22:10.8.
The women amassed a total score of 129 points to finish fourth overall, the squad’s highest finish ever at a Big 12 Championship meet.
Much like the women’s race, a Jayhawk went out in the men’s race and pushed the pace early. Morgan, who entered the race as the league’s reigning Newcomer of the Year after his fifth-place finish at last season’s meet, joined a group of five runners who separated themselves from the rest of the field over the first half of the race. Morgan checked in at the 2K mark in first overall and only slipped one spit to second at the 5K checkpoint after he ran the first 3.1 miles in 15:12.54. The group began to spread out in the final 3,000 meters with Morgan settling in at fifth as he headed into the finish chute.
The Topeka, Kansas native crossed the 8K finish in 24:21.2 to claim fifth-place at the conference meet for the second-straight season. Morgan’s performance made him the fourth Jayhawk since 1970 to finish among the top-five at a conference meet in back-to-back seasons and added another All-Big 12 selection to his résumé.
Morgan’s senior teammate, Landes, also turned in an all-league effort with a top-15 performance. The Mulvane, Kansas product posted an 8K clocking of 24:59.8 to finish 15th, which tied his career-best finish at a conference meet. Coming in after Landes was sophomore Chris Melgares, who earned the first top-25 league finish in his career, crossing the finish in 25th at 25:23.6.
“I thought both Jacob and Evan ran solid races today,” Redwine said of his top-two men’s finishers. “They both competed really well and I’m excited they made all-conference. For the team as a whole though, I thought were didn’t execute the race plan. The goal was to pack run and that didn’t happen and it cost us. We have to continue to get better from that standpoint.”
Rounding out the Kansas scoring were juniors James Hampton and Daniel Koech. Hampton claimed 28th after he finished in 25:27.6, while Koech completed the 8K loop in 26:00.0 for 41st.
The KU men finished fifth in the team standings after they amassed 111 points. The fifth-place finish was the team’s second-straight top-five finish at the Big 12 Championships.
The Jayhawks will now return home to host the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships for the first time on Friday, Nov. 13. The women’s 6K will kick the day off at noon with the men’s 10K slated to start at 1 p.m. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.