K-State cross country teams open season at JK Gold Invitational

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K-State women's cross country team warms up on a trail during an early morning practice at Frank Anneberg Park on Oct. 8, 2015. (Archive photo by Cassandra Nguyen | The Collegian)

The Kansas State cross country teams traveled to compete at the JK Gold Invitational hosted by Wichita State University in Augusta, Kansas, on Saturday. Both the men’s and women’s teams placed in the top three overall.

The Wildcats had several individuals place in their respective races. Seven K-State athletes placed in the top 30 in the men’s six kilometer race.

“Everyone did what we were trying to accomplish, I thought they looked really good,” Ryun Godfrey, head coach of the men’s cross country team, said to K-State Sports. “It was really the way we wanted to start — to stick together as a pack and finish strong.”

Senior Colton Donahue finished 18th with a time of 19:12.3, and senior Brett Bachman finished 19th with a time of 19:13.2. Following those results, four others took 24th-28th place: senior Joe Gorthy (19:20.8), sophomore Nicholas Skinner (19:21.5), senior Jeffrey Bachman (19:21.7) and senior Bryan Zack (19:21.7).

The women’s roster this season is headed by their only senior, Kayla Doll from Garden City, Kansas. Doll finished 44th overall as an individual at the Big 12 Championships last year in Lubbock, Texas.

Seven lady Wildcats placed in the four kilometer race.

Four Wildcats placed within the top 13: sophomore Sydney Collins got 9th (14:26.1), junior Emma Wren placed 10th (14:27.0), freshman Cara Melgares finished 12th (14:29.5) and senior Kayla Doll scored 13th (14:30.4).

Three more individuals placed, including freshman Kassidy Johnson at 35th (15:17.8), freshman Victoria Robinson at 53rd (15:51.5) and sophomore Anna Keeley at 59th (15:58.9).

“Overall, we had some freshmen come out and run their first college meet and performed pretty well,” Godfrey said to K-State Sports. “The women didn’t run as a group like we had planned, but that is something that we will work out and improve going forward.”

Division One opponents included Wichita State, which hosted the meet, and the University of Missouri. The final results showed that Wichita State took first in the men’s race and Missouri was victorious in the women’s race.

K-State will now prepare for the Greeno/Dirsken Invitational in Lincoln, Nebraska on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 10 a.m.

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