K-State cross country places fourth and ninth at Big 12 Championship

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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 | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State men’s and women’s cross country teams earned fourth and ninth place finishes, respectively, at Saturday’s Big 12 Championship meet in Round Rock, Texas.

The men’s team ended the day with 142 points, while the women’s team earned 206 points.

Nine Wildcats placed in the men’s 8K race, led by senior Colton Donahue who finished 23rd overall at 24:41.4, averaging 4:58.1 per mile. Five other seniors followed suit: Lukas Koch (30th, 24:51.1), Bryan Zach (31st, 24:51.5), Jeff Bachman (35th, 24:55.1), Brett Bachman (38th, 24:59.7) and Sam Oxandale (81st, 28:34.9).

Sophomores Nicholas Skinner and Keegan Donahue finished 43rd and 66th overall with times of 25:11.2 and 25:58.8, respectively. Junior Joe Gorthy recorded a 58th place finish at 25:32.4.

“A tight pack is something that we have talked about all year, and there were 20 seconds between our first and fifth runners,” head coach Ryun Godfrey said to K-State Sports. “They set out at the beginning of the year and said they wanted to be fourth, and they did it. Hats off to these guys for working hard and putting it together on race day.”

The fourth place finish by the men’s team was their best finish at a Big 12 Championship meet in program history.

Every athlete representing the K-State women’s team finished with their personal best while competing as a Wildcat.

Senior Kayla Doll finished 21st overall with a time of 21:00.2. Others who saw personal bests included freshmen Cara Melgares (37th, 21:30.2), Erin Lee (74th, 22:52.2) and Victoria Robinson (87th, 24:51.4), sophomore Sydney Collins (44th, 21:45.5) and junior Emma Wren (42nd, 21:38.4).

“I was super impressed with Kayla taking off like she did, she just went after it,” Godfrey said to K-State Sports. “Cara did a great job as a freshman, and Sydney and Emma did a solid job, too.”

The Wildcats will travel to Ames, Iowa, for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on Friday, Nov. 10.

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