Sept. 18, 2013
MANHATTAN, Kan. - The K-State cross country team continues action this Saturday with the Woody Greeno Invitational in Lincoln, Neb. Last season, the Wildcat men finished seventh in the 8K and the women finished third in the 6K. The women will race first at 10 a.m. followed by the men at 10:45 a.m.
Head coach Michael Smith has high hopes for his men and women's team this weekend, who will be racing championship distance for the first time this year.
"The competition this week is better than our last race, so I hope we rise up to the level of the competition and compete and to beat everyone again on the women's side," Smith said. "I really want this to be a good experience for the freshmen. The way that we have trained in this past couple weeks, I would hope that we have gotten better. "
K-State will compete against host school Nebraska, Wichita State, Northern Iowa, Creighton, UMKC, North Dakota, Division II schools and junior colleges. There will be over 600 runners participating at the meet.
Smith is looking forward to a competitive atmosphere.
"I fully expect us to be competitive with Nebraska and measure ourselves against that team," Smith said. "We would like to compete for a championship at this meet. It will be difficult, but I think that we have some talent that can help us come out on top."
Fresh off winning her first Big 12 Runner of the Week award for her performance at the JK Gold Duals, Laura Galvan hopes to continue to build off her early season success.
"I expect to go out in the front and try to race well," said Galvan, who placed first in Augusta, Kan., two weeks ago. "I just have to go out do my best because the meets are just going to get harder and harder from here on out. I feel like I am in good shape so hopefully it will turn out well."
Along with Galvan, Smith expects a strong performance out of Sophomore Mary Frances Donnelly
"Laura won this race last year so I expect her to push from the front again," Smith said. "I expect Mary Frances Donnelly to be better than she was last year, because last year she was just a baby and now she has grown and is bigger, stronger, faster and more athletic. I think the way she has looked in training that she should run a better race, she was fifteenth last year and I would like to see her in the top 10."
On the men's side, Smith is anxious to see how newcomers such as Jeff and Brett Bachman, Lukas Koch and Kain Ellis will handle the race this Saturday. All four finished in the top 15 at the J.K. Gold Duals Classic.
"I would like to see a good competitive effort from the freshmen and see how they compare to the training that I have seen," Smith said."They should be able to race at the level that they train and that is the hope. It sometimes takes the freshmen a while."
Following Saturday's race, the Wildcats take a week off before heading to Lawrence, Kan., for the Rim Rock Invitational on Oct. 5.