Cross country opens with solid showing at Wichita State

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The K-State cross country team started its 2009 campaign off on the right foot with a solid performance at the J.K. Gold Classic in Augusta, Kan.

The Saturday meet, which was hosted by in-state rival Wichita State, marked the collegiate debut for many members of the Wildcats’ squad, including freshman Martina Tresch. Tresch wasted no time making her mark, as she captured the women’s 4K title with a time of 13:48.99. Junior Sydney Messick finished less than five seconds later with a time of 13:52.23 to capture second place. In all, the women finished in a tie with the Shockers for first place.

Coach Michael Smith said he was happy with the final results, especially because the Wildcats were able to top the charts without the services of senior Beverly Ramos.

“We had a freshman win the race, and we had a junior get second in the race and they were easily out in front,” Smith said. “That’s very encouraging, because if you plug Beverly in there, we’re a pretty good team.”

The men’s squad also fared well at the weekend meet, capturing the first place team title in the 6K race. Sophomore Armando Del Valle led all K-State runners and finished third overall with a time of 19:05.53. Three other Wildcats — freshman Mitch Loring, junior Jack Sachse and freshman Kyle Hanson — also posted top-10 finishes en route to first-place honors.

“We didn’t know what our guys could do, and they’re largely young guys,” Smith said of the men’s squad. “We have four newcomers in our top five and three of them are freshmen. I’m happy and a little surprised that we were able to be as competitive as we were with so many newcomers, and I hope it continues.”

The Wildcats are scheduled to continue their fall season on Sept. 19 when they head to Springfield, Miss., for a meet hosted by Missouri State.

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