Cross country opens strong

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The K-State cross country team started the season with a solid performance in Saturday’s J.K. Gold Classic in Wichita. In addition to earning eight top-10 finishes, the Wildcats swept both the men’s and women’s competitions in route to a successful weekend.

Coach Michael Smith said he was pleased with the team’s performance.

“We ran great today,” he said. “It was a good performance from our runners and we ran well to compete.”

Leading the women’s team was senior Sydney Messick, who finished in second place with a time of 13:35.72. Following closely behind Messick were senior Boglarka Bozzay and freshman Avery Clifton, who finished third and fourth with times of 14:01.19 and 14:07.93, respectively. Junior Laura Lee Baird and senior Emilee Morris also finished in the top 10 of the women’s competition. The Wildcats received strong performances from freshman Sarah Swenson, sophomore Sara Stoakes and freshman Meghan Heuer. The Wildcats won over Bradley 17-42 and Wichita State 24-32.

The men’s team was led by sophomore Mitch Loring, who finished the race in 18:44.39 to claim a third-place finish. Freshman Adam Porter secured a strong collegiate debut with a sixth-place finish, coming in with a time of 18:57.02. Sophomore Kyle Hanson finished in the top 10, with a time of 19:08.68. Six other runners contributed to the Wildcat’s victories, beating Bradley 16-47 and Wichita State 19-42.

The Wildcats will hit the trails again in two weeks as they head south to Stillwater, Okla., to participate in the Cowboy Jamboree at Oklahoma State University. Historically, the meet has been host to several of the Midwest’s top cross country teams. The Cowboy Jamboree should prove to be a strong competition for the Wildcats and will undoubtedly help the team in their preparation for the Big 12 Conference Championships in late October.

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