Coming off one of their best seasons in school history, the Kansas State cross country teams started their 2021 season at the Cowboy Jamboree meet in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on Saturday, where the women placed seventh and the men placed ninth.
All eight women runners finished in the top 100. Junior standout Jaybe Shufelberger led the women’s team with a 13th place finish and a time of 21:34.8 in the 6K.
Sophomore Hannah Stewart was the next Wildcat to cross the finish line in 33rd place with a time of 22:28.7, while fellow sophomores Cailan Steward and Sydney Burton finished in 37th and 51st places, respectively, with times of 22:46.5 and 23:02.9.
In her first collegiate race, freshman Alexa Rios finished 75th overall with a time of 23:45.5. Rounding out for the Wildcats was junior Katie Kasunic in 86th place (24:04.9), junior Delaney Kemp in 95th (24:35.7) and redshirt sophomore Helen Giefer in 98th (24:46.18).
The women’s team finished with 188 points. Colorado won the women’s meet, finishing with only 30 points, with its top five runners all in the top ten. Oklahoma State took second with 35 points and Utah Valley took third with 188 points.
For the men’s competition, all 11 runners placed among the top-150 out of 179 competitors.
Sophomore Hadley Splechter finished 60th with a time of 25:25.3. Redshirt junior David Lutgen (65th, 25:30.5), super-senior Noah Stevenson (72nd, 25:43.1) and senior Stephen Kielhofner (73rd, 25:43.2) were not too far behind.
Freshman Matthew Hauser finished 82nd (25:56) in his first-ever collegiate race. Fellow freshman Carson Sturdy (87th, 26:04.5), redshirt junior Mike Rohlinger (88th, 26:05.4), freshman Thomas Hazen (92nd, 26:11.9) and freshman Alex Gutierrez (117th, 26:43) followed behind.
“We had great effort today,” head coach Ryun Godfrey said to K-State Sports. “We learned a lot about where we are and what we need to do going forward. I am confident the team is headed in the right direction.”
Both squads finished ahead of conference foes Texas Tech and Oklahoma.
The next meet on the fall schedule for K-State cross country is the Gans Creek Classic on Oct. 1 in Columbia, Missouri. The men’s 8K race is scheduled to start at 9 a.m., followed by the women’s 6K at 9:45 a.m.