AUGUSTA, Kan. The K-State cross country teams kicked off their 2008 seasons at the J.K. Gold Classic on Saturday, Sept. 6, with a pair of first-place finishes.
On the sloppy R.A.F.T. Golf Course, due to rain, Kansas State runner Beverly Ramos captured first in the women’s 4K race, while Silas Kisorio of Oklahoma Christian crossed first in the men’s 6K race.
It was a dominating victory for the women’s team, which was lead by Ramos with a time of 13:33.97, nearly 30 seconds ahead of the next competitor. Following Ramos, a pack of Wildcat runners crossed the line in places three-four-five-seven, -Liliani Mendez, Megan-Anne Perrin, Emily Dittemore, Emilee Morris- proving a wide spread victory over second-place team and host Wichita State.
“Beverly is an All-American in the steeplechase, so you would expect her to compete at a pretty high level in cross country,” said head coach Michael Smith. “She showed a great deal of competitiveness today and ran by herself largely the entire race. She took the race over after 1K and never looked back.”
Competing in her first collegiate event freshman Emilee Morris finished seventh with her best 4K time of 14:34.21 to date. Megan-Anne Perrin bettered her time a year ago at this meet by one minute, showing Smith that his women’s team’s hard work over the summer is just beginning to pay off.
“I was very excited to see her (Megan-Anne Perrin) run the way she did. She ran a minute slower here last year and that is what a summer of good hard training will do for you,” said Smith. “For Emilee Morris to come from being a high school senior and come in and run this well this early is great for us.”
Following the women’s race, the men finished with an overall score of 38 to earn first in the 6K race. A race virtually between Wichita State and the Wildcats, the men found themselves trailing the Shockers with a mile to go. With a late serge by senior Danny Schneider and sophomore Taylor Coate in the closing 200 meters, the Wildcats’ finished with a three-point advantage.
“It was raining throughout the race, the course was all torn up from previous races, and I thought our men ran really well,” said Smith. “With Colin (Swaney) not running we were looking for some of younger guys to step up and they did. Tyler (Fennema), Kevin (Edwards), and Taylor (Coate) showed a little bit of maturity today and I was happy to see that and it is encouraging to see Danny (Schneider) and Alex (Umberger) to run up front.”
Schneider ran a 6K time of 19:17.62 to capture his first victory of his college career. Senior Alex Umberger continued his success by starting the season with a fifth-place overall finish and a time of 19:37.24. Kevin Edwards, Tyler Fennema and Taylor Coate rounded out the top-five for the Wildcats and helping the average team time to 19:46.14.
K-State will continue action on Sept. 20, at the Woody Greeno Invitational in Lincoln, Neb.