The Kansas State men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Ames, Iowa, on Friday to finish their season by competing in the NCAA Midwest Regional, where the men placed 10th overall and the women finished 19th.
The K-State men’s team finished with 314 points out of 28 teams. The team entered the race ranked 12th in the region, beating Iowa in a tiebreaker. This was the Wildcats’ best finish at the Midwest Regional since 2004, when they also placed 10th.
“It was the same story for the whole year — they had a good small gap between one through five and that was important,” head coach Ryun Godfrey said to K-State Sports. “These guys ran together and train together, and they carried it out today. I am really proud of them.”
Senior Jeff Bachman led the way at 46th place with a time of 30:07, finishing over two minutes faster than he did at the Midwest Regional in 2015.
The rest of the men’s team also set personal records in the 10K race. All seven runners who attended the meet — five seniors, one junior and one sophomore — finished within the top 100 with times under 31 minutes.
Among the seniors, Colton Donahue finished 51st with a time of 30:09, Lukas Koch placed 55th with 30:16, Bryan Zack placed 79th with 30:31 and Brett Bachman placed 83rd with 30:33. Sophomore Nicholas Skinner finished 94th with 30:46 and junior Joe Gorthy came in 100th place with 30:50.
The women’s team finished 19th out of 33 teams with 451 points. Five of the teams that competed in this Midwest Regional race were from the Big 12 conference, including Iowa State, Oklahoma State, the University of Kansas, the University of Oklahoma and K-State.
The six runners for the women’s team were three freshmen, one sophomore, one junior and one senior. Three of the six finished in the top 68, and all the Wildcats ran times under 24 minutes.
Senior Kayla Doll led the way for the Wildcats with a time of 21:00 and 31st place. Freshman Cara Melgares placed 52nd with 21:16 and junior Emma Wren came in 68th with 21:27, both new personal bests.
“I was very impressed with Kayla and Cara,” Godfrey said to K-State Sports. “I was also happy with Emma because she put herself out there, which was a different tactic than what she has been using. I thought that Kayla did a great job and ran hard from the start. Overall, I was impressed with the effort from them today.”
Also for the women’s team, sophomore Sydney Collins finished 137th out of 225 runners with a time of 22:08, and freshmen Erin Lee and Tori Robinson placed 163rd and 216th with times of 22:26 and 23:50, respectively.
On Saturday, the K-State cross country teams will travel to Louisville, Kentucky, for the NCAA Cross Country Championships.