K-State cross country heads to Lawrence for Midwest Regionals

K-State men's cross country team warms up on a trail during an early morning practice at Frank Anneberg Park on Oct. 8, 2015. (File Photo by Cassandra Nguyen | The Collegian)

The K-State cross country teams are traveling to Lawrence’s Rim Rock Farm Cross Country Course today for the Midwest Regional Championships.

For the men, this race is somewhat different from the others. Though they have been running the 8K this entire season, this meet will feature a 10K.

The men will be competing in a field of runners from 33 schools, while the women will be racing against runners from 35 universities.

The Wildcat women excelled in the Midwest Region Cross Country Championships last season, finishing eighth out of 32 teams. The men struggled, however, finishing at 26 out of 29 teams.

Despite the change in distance, the Wildcats should feel confident going into the race; especially after coming off quality finishes at the Big 12 Championships on Oct. 31, where the men finished sixth and the women placed seventh.

“I think the guys, if they run well, can finish as a top-20 team,” head coach Ryun Godfrey said to K-State Sports. “They finished 26th last year, so I think that would be a pretty good improvement. On the women’s side, Morgan Wedekind is trying to figure out if being an individual qualifier is possible. She needs to have a great race to finish in the top four.”

Wedekind has been the star for the women’s side all season. Prior to the Big 12 Championships, the junior placed in the top five in all three of her races. At the Big 12 Championship meet, she ran a 21:09.4, placing her in 10th and earning her an individual medal.

“I am hoping that Paige (Stratioti) and Kayla (Doll) are a little bit more aggressive than they were at conference and put themselves in a better position to start with,” Godfrey added to K-State Sports. “It will be a big meet for our two freshmen. I think they like the idea that they are traveling down the road to compete.”

Looking at the men’s squad, sophomore Colton Donahue is coming off a stellar 16th-place finish at the Big 12 Championships meet. This was the best finish for a men’s K-State cross country runner since 2004.

The day begins at noon with the women’s 6K, and the men will begin their 10K at 1 p.m.