K-State cross-country ready for Big 12 Championships

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. (Cassandra Nguyen | The Collegian)

The Kansas State cross-country team will seek to build on momentum it built last week after the men’s team finished in ninth place and the women’s team finished in 16th place in the Bradley Pink Classic in Peoria, Illinois.

Today’s tournament is on a little bit bigger of a stage, though. It’s the Big 12 Championships in Lubbock, Texas.

Senior Morgan Wedekind is coming off a 28th-place finish in Illinois, where she was the first K-State woman to finish. Junior Colton Donahue was the first to finish on the men’s side, finishing 30th in the men’s race.

Something the team has been working on all season has been finishing closer together, Donahue said to K-State Sports.

“We’ve definitely been working on staying as a pack,” Donahue said to K-State Sports. “We’ve just been working on running together and making sure our paces are consistent with one another, so when it comes to race time, we can run together and keep that score as low as possible at the end of the race and just try to finish as strong as possible.”

The more competitive of the teams in today’s race is likely to be the men’s team. They are led by Donahue, who finished 16th in last season’s Big 12 Championship race, which was the highest individual finish from the men’s team since 2004.

The women are led by Wedekind, who won the Augustana Twilight race in September.

Their team, however, is hampered by injuries right now. They’re also young. Two of the six runners in today’s meet will be true freshmen.

Sophomore Emma Wren said they will seek to run hard as a team.

“We really try to create this atmosphere that we’re competitive in practice and want to push each other, but it’s in a really positive way,” Wren said to K-State Sports. “We’re all working toward the same goal.”

Shelton grew up in the desert southwest. A native of Lancaster, California, he mostly grew up in south Phoenix, Arizona; Austin, Texas; and Colorado Springs, Colorado before moving to Kansas and graduating from Junction City High School. He started working as a news writer for the Collegian in 2009 before taking a three-year break from college. He returned to K-State in 2013 and has since worked for the news desk, feature desk, as a copy editor and now as a sports writer. He enjoys tap dancing, writing anything possible, reading court opinions and watching Arizona Coyotes hockey.