K-State cross-country team starts season at Augustana Twilight

The Kansas 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 Kansas State men’s and women’s cross-country teams will begin their respective seasons today at the Augustana Twilight in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The women are set to run three miles, and the men will run four miles.

Friday will be the sixth annual running of the Augustana Twilight and will feature over 30 different schools, including the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the 2015 Junior College National Champions, Iowa Central.

The men’s squad looks stronger than ever, with every runner from last year returning. In total, the team will consist of four seniors, four juniors and three sophomores.

The Bachman brothers, Brett and Jeff, return for their senior year and hope to help the team improve on last year’s sixth-place finish at the Big 12 Championships in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Junior Colton Donahue will also be key to the success of the Wildcats this season, after he finished 16th at last year’s Big 12 Championship.

The women, meanwhile, are bringing in a wealth of new potential talent as they have seven freshmen on the roster.

This is the perfect opportunity for the star returning senior Morgan Wedekind to lead and teach this group of youngsters.

Wedekind finished the 2015 season in 10th place at the Big 12 Championships and 23rd at the Midwest Regional Championships. She is vying to improve on that.

Junior Kayla Doll will also be an excellent returning outlet of talent after her 40th place overall finish at the 2015 Big 12 Championships.

The women will have to find a way to deal with their youth, and head coach Ryun Godfrey said he’s hopeful some youngsters step up.

“We have three solid girls at the top, but we do not have a fourth, fifth and sixth runner on the women’s side,” Godfrey said to K-State Sports. “It is wide open. I do not know how we will fill in that gap yet. Hopefully some of the freshmen can step in there and fill those spots.”

The women’s race begins at 8:30 p.m. and the men’s race begins at 9 p.m., both at Yankton Trail Park.