On Saturday morning, the Kansas State men’s and women’s cross country teams opened their 2018 season by competing in the 70th annual JK Gold Classic in Augusta, Kansas.
This meet was hosted by Wichita State, and is K-State’s first of seven scheduled meets this season.
The Wildcats graduated six seniors on the men’s team and one from the women’s 2017 team.
Head coach Ryun Godfrey spoke to K-State Athletics before the meet.
“Our goal is to see if we can pack up and see what kind of a group we can get to stay together,” Godfrey said. “Like most first meets, this meet is a good opportunity to shake off some rust. It will be a good way to start the season.”
K-State competed against six schools in the meet: Wichita State, Emporia State, Missouri State, Friends University, Newman University and Neosho Community College.
The pre-season USTFCCA regionals rankings had the Wichita State men’s team at No. 14, and the women’s team at No. 15. Emporia State ranked No. 9 in Division II central regional rankings and Friends University came in at No. 3 in the KCAC rankings with its women’s team and its men’s team at No. 4.
In the first race of the day, the women’s four-kilometer, K-State placed second overall in the team standings with a time 1:14.52. It had seven runners place.
One freshman, three sophomores, two juniors and one senior made up the runners who placed on the women’s team on Saturday morning. Four Wildcats finished within the top 15.
Senior Emma Wren finished 5th (14:33.6), sophomore Cara Melgares in 6th (14:34.5), junior Sydney Collins placing 9th (14:47.5), and sophomore Kassidy Johnson in 11th (14:55.3).
Three more Wildcats placed for the women’s team including junior Anna Keeley at 32nd (16:00.6), sophomore Victoria Robinson in 39th (16:17.2) and freshman Karley Larson finishing 49th (16:45.2).
The men’s six-kilometer race saw a K-State first place finish with a time of 1:35.32. Led by senior Joe Gorthy, who finished 5th with a time of 19:04.6, the Wildcats had five athletes place in the top 10, and five more overall.
Freshman David Lutgen placed 6th (19:04.7), sophomore Jackson Schroeder finished 7th (19:04.7), and freshmen Cooper Schroeder and Parrish Charlie finished 8th (19:08.3) and 9th (19:09.2), respectively.
Freshman Dylan Brenneman placed 16 (19:41.7), and sophomores Pierce Flanders and Noah Stevenson, finished 21st (20:02.1) and 37th (21.09.2), respectively. Juniors Kurt Loevenstein got 31st (20:43.1) and Travis Hodge got 32nd overall with his time of 20:43.6.
At the end of the meet, Wichita State claimed victory in the women’s four-kilometer race with a time of 1:11.41 and K-State won the men’s six-kilometer race in 1:35.32.
Up next for the Wildcats will be the 38th annual Vic Godfrey Open on Saturday, Sept. 8. The first race is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.