BROOKINGS, S.D. - In a race that highlighted a strong field of competition, both Kansas State cross country teams come home empty handed Saturday after falling behind at the South Dakota State Invitational. Both Wildcat squads entered the weekend's competition with two consecutive meet victories and despite a few promising performances, they could not keep their streak alive.
For the second consecutive time this season, Kansas State senior Beverly Ramos captured the individual title in the women's 5K race. She has now finished first overall in both races she has competed in this season. Senior James Krajsa of Minnesota State-Mankato, crossed the finish line first to take home the individual title in the men's 8K race.
The invitational featured a very strong Minnesota women's squad that entered the competition with a ninth-place rank in the national poll. The Minnesota women claimed the first-place team title, but the Wildcat women closed in right behind them.
Coming off of a Big 12 Runner of the Week Honor, Beverly Ramos led the Wildcats women's team to a second-place team finish with a time of 17:11.5, more than 15 seconds ahead of the next competitor. Behind Ramos, the Wildcats had two other runners cross the finish line in the top-10. Junior Sydney Messick (17:36.7) finished the meet third overall and Martina Tresch (17:59.0) claimed the ninth-place position, but it was not enough to surge the women past the strong Minnesota squad that placed six runners in the top-10. Rounding out the Wildcats were Boglarka Bozzay, Alyssa Bellinder, Megan-Anne Perrin and Emilee Morris, who finished 18-19-23-24 respectively.
Head coach Michael Smith knew this meet would be more competitive, although he had hoped for a better outcome.
"Overall, we did not have a complete team race," Smith said. "We did not run to our potential, but we have more meets to run this season and have more opportunities to get it done when it matters."
Freshman Kyle Hanson paved the way for the K-State men with a time of 26:28.5. Sophomore Armando Del Valle, freshman Mitch Loring and senior Tyler Fennema helped build the supporting cast for the Wildcats pushing them to a fourth-place team finish.
The Wildcats have a week off before traveling to Terre Haute, Ind. for the Pre-NCAA Invitational on Oct. 17.