Cross country prepares for Bradley Pink Invitational and Big 12 races

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Coming off a successful weekend at Oklahoma State’s premiere invitational, the Cowboy Jamboree, the Kansas State men’s and women’s cross country teams are taking no time off as they get ready to compete in Peoria, Illinois, this weekend in the Bradley Pink Invitational and the Big 12 Championship later on this month.

Senior Jeff Bachman is running for his fifth season at K-State, and he is leading this pack of Wildcats in hopes of coming out on top later in the season. Bachman ran his course personal best at the Cowboy Jamboree last weekend.

“The leadership has been pretty good this year,” Bachman said. “We have five seniors, so we are all pretty experienced because we know what to expect and how to go about doing things.”

Bachman also said he is confident and content with his team’s current performance.

“Just like with anything, the more you do it, the better you can prepare and the better you can help others to prepare, like our younger teammates,” Bachman said. “It’s probably the best it’s been from my five years here, so it’s good.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams earned rankings in the USTFCCCA Midwest Regional Rankings last week. The men’s team was ranked number 14, while the women’s team came in at number nine. These are the highest rankings both teams have received during the same week in school history.

“The Midwest ranking is incredible,” sophomore Sydney Collins said. “Our team has worked really hard together both in and out of the races to make it happen. We are really happy and hoping to improve that ranking as the season goes on.”

Collins led the Wildcats with a 16th place finish earlier in the season at the Woody Greeno/Jay Dirksen Invitational and finished behind junior Emma Wren and senior Kayla Doll at the Cowboy Jamboree, where the women’s team placed eighth overall.

Head coach Ryun Godfrey was pleased with both teams’ outings and is looking forward to how the team will compete in the remaining events this season.

“The girls did a nice job,” Godfrey said to K-State Sports. “It was a tough, challenging course against some good teams, but I thought they did very well keeping the gap close. … I think we took a big step forward today, and we’re looking to continue to take steps forward and build our confidence heading into the Big 12 Championships.”

The Bradley Pink Invitational, hosted by Bradley University, will be the Wildcats’ last regular season competition.

“The Bradley meet is always our fastest meet,” Bachman said. “It’s kind of a grass track, and it’s on a golf course, so it’s really fast.”

Bachman said he is confident the Wildcat cross country teams will do well this weekend.

“As the season has gone on, we’ve progressed and we’ll be in better shape and be able to race some of those Midwest teams that we’ll compete against,” Bachman said. “We want to run together as a pack at the Big 12 meet, so [we’re] just continuing to work towards that and getting people to race together.”

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