Cross Country to compete in annual Cowboy Jamboree

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The 81st annual Cowboy Jamboree will begin Saturday morning, hosted by the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Cowgirls cross country teams. The Kansas State men’s and women’s teams will both be competing.

Fellow Big 12 competitors at the meet include the hosting Cowboys and the Sooners of the University of Oklahoma.

A solid number of other Kansas schools will be competing on Saturday, including Wichita State, Kansas Wesleyan and the University of Saint Mary. From the community college ranks, the Wildcats will see the Allen County, Barton, Colby, Cowley County and Hutchinson community colleges.

Last year, the Cowboys and Cowgirls not very friendly hosts. The men’s squad won the meet, and now-junior Sylvester Barus won the individual title. With four of their top-10 finishers from last year’s race, the Cowboys should be ready to perform. The Cowboys are looking for their 23rd Jamboree victory. They currently stand as the No. 9 team in the nation.

In the season-opening Cowboy Preview, the men’s team went 2-1, losing to Arkansas. Sophomore Christian Liddell performed well, finishing second overall with a time of 15:31.7.

The women’s squad comes into the meet ranked No. 22 in the nation. Before the loss to Tulsa in last year’s Jamboree, the Cowgirls had won six straight.

In the Cowboy Preview, the Cowgirls lost to the University of Arkansas, University of Oklahoma and Tulsa, so they will be looking for their first win. The leading individual for the Cowgirls was freshman Sinclaire Johnson, who finished eighth with a time of 10:56.2.

The Wildcats have been to two meets this year, Wichita State’s JK Gold Classic and the Greeno/Dirksen Invite, which was hosted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

In the first meet of the season, the JK Gold Classic, the men and women’s teams finished third and second, respectively. The women finished with 26 points, just shy of the University of Missouri’s winning 24 points. The men took third, finishing behind Missouri and champion Wichita State. Sophomore Sydney Collins set a career-best time, coming in ninth at a time of 14:26.1.

At the Greeno/Dirksen Invite last Saturday, both Wildcat teams again finished in the top 10. The men finished fifth overall with 105 points, as the University of Iowa Hawkeyes took the crown with just 29 points. The women took fourth overall with 99 points, and the University of South Dakota won with an impressive 22 points.

The festivities for the Wildcats will begin at 9:15 a.m. Saturday, as the women run first in the Women’s Orange 5K, followed by the Men’s Orange 8K.

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