Morgan Concludes 2014 Cross Country Slate at NCAA Championships
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Kansas junior Jacob Morgan closed out his 2014 cross country campaign with a 91st-place at the NCAA Championships held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course Saturday afternoon. Morgan completed the 10K course in 31:29.3 and tallied the first top-100 finish by a Jayhawk at the National meet since 2007.
“I got out the way I wanted to through the first 2K and was feeling good about where I was,” said Morgan following the race. “I just couldn’t make the move I needed to when the leaders started to take off and that cost me. I may have not finished as high as I wanted to but I will try to draw on the positives from this season and this race and use them moving forward. This will give me a lot of fire going into this track season and next cross country season for sure.”
On a cool and damp afternoon in Terre Haute, Morgan set out in his second-career NCAA Championship race in hopes of becoming the 22nd All-American in Kansas cross country history. It was no easy task though, with over 250 of the top collegiate distance runners in the U.S. filling the starting blocks alongside him.
Over the first 3,000 meters, the Topeka, Kansas native firmly planted himself in the middle of the enormous lead pack of runners that included more than 120 competitors positioned within five seconds of one another. Morgan posted a 3K split of 9:13 and stood in 44th with two of the six miles under his belt.
Morgan held his position over the next two kilometers, remaining just two seconds behind the leaders at the 5K checkpoint. At that halfway mark, the field began to spread out as the front-runners started to pick up the pace. Morgan’s placement slipped over the next two miles and he saw himself sitting in 90th has he headed into the final 2,000 meters.
As he had done all year, Morgan ended his race strong and posted a final 2K split of 6:24.6 to move ahead of a handful of runners down the closing stretch and cross the finish among the top-100 finishers.
Morgan posted a final time of 31:29.3.0 to finish 91st overall and, while he missed earning All-American accolades by just under 30 seconds, his place marked the best finish by a Jayhawk at the NCAA Championships in seven years.
With the 2014 cross country season now complete, Morgan and the rest of the Jayhawks will now turn their attention toward the indoor track & field campaign, slated to begin in just two weeks. Kansas will kick off the season with the Bob Timmons Challenge on Saturday, Dec. 6 in Lawrence at the meet scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., inside Anschutz Pavilion.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.