Big 12 Championship leads K-State XC to Stillwater

Kayla Doll, sophomore, runs alongside teammates during an early morning cross country practice at Frank Anneberg Park on Oct. 8, 2015. (File Photo by Cassandra Nguyen | The Collegian)

The K-State cross country men’s and women’s teams head to Oklahoma State’s cross country course in Stillwater, Oklahoma for the Big 12 Championships this Saturday. The men begin their race at 10 a.m. and the women start at 11 a.m.

The top-scoring men’s and women’s teams will be crowned league champion, while the top 15 individuals from each division will be named all-conference.

The Oklahoma State men will be looking for their eighth consecutive Big 12 Championship, while the women of Iowa State are striving for their fifth consecutive title.

The Oklahoma State men are led by sophomore Cerake Geberkidane, who has won three individual titles from three events this year running for the sixth-nationally ranked team.

The Iowa State women look to retain their title, despite having a rather young team this year. The No. 11 nationally-ranked team is led by freshman Becky Straw, sophomore Erin Hooker and junior Perez Rotich.

Hooker and Rotich finished in the top 15 at last year’s Big 12 championship, leading the way for the Cyclones in Lawrence.

As for the K-State Wildcats, the last time they captured a Big 12 Championship title was back in 1998 when the women brought home the crown.

For the women, the race looks fairly promising.

Junior Morgan Wedekind is leading the Wildcats on a stellar season, as she has not placed under fifth this season. She has placed second, fifth and fifth in this year’s meets.

Also starring for the Wildcats on the womens’ side are senior Paige Stratioti and sophomore Kayla Doll.

Stratioti placed 11th at the Wildcats’ last meet with a 20:57, while Doll placed 33rd with a 21:24.

Leading the men are sophomore Colton Donahue and junior twins Brett and Jeff Bachman.

Donahue led the Wildcats at their last meet, the Bradley Classic, in Peoria, Illinois, placing 24th with a time of 24:30. The Bachman brothers followed just behind, as Jeff finished 47th with a 24:58 while Brett notched a 77th place finish with a 25:14.

Head coach Ryun Godfrey said he is confident his men can make that breakthrough performance.

“We are getting better,” Godfrey said about the Bradley Classic to K-State Sports. “I believe we can do better with our second through fifth runners on the men’s side. I would give us a ‘B’ for the race today. I am still looking for that ‘A’ performance.”