K-State Hosts 2004 Big 12 Cross Country Championships
MANHATTAN, Kan. - The culmination of a season of work comes down to the next three meets for the 2004 Kansas State cross country teams. The first of those three meets occur this Saturday, Oct. 30, as K-State host the 2004 Big 12 Cross Country Championships at Stateland Cross Country Fairgrounds in Topeka, Kan.
Head coach Michael Smith hopes that a season of hard work can pay off in the end.
"This is the one that matters to us the most," Smith said. "The only thing that people remember is where you finished at the Big 12 meet. These kids know that, and I know that. What we want to do is put on our best show there and hopefully we can accomplish what we’ve set out to accomplish."
Hosting the meet is huge for the program. It is the first time that K-State will host the Big 12 Championships. Even though the meet is in Topeka, it is still close enough to be considered home turf.
"It’s a home away from home. We’ve practiced on it and we are close enough where the kids have run on it. We are familiar with it, they know what’s going on and what's happening on that course," said Smith.
Trisha Culbertson looks to continue the streak of placing as the top Wildcat finisher on the women’s squad, as she has done so in all four meets this season. She has also placed as one of the overall top-15 individuals in three out of four meets. Coach Smith looks to see Culbertson place high at this weekend’s meet.
"If she has the confidence to perform, she will perform as our number one runner," Smith commented. "She can run up there in the top-20, and I think that is realistic, and I’m going to encourage her to try to do that."
Finishing better than previous years is a must, according to Smith. "We will see a lot of lifetime best performances out of our kids. Hopefully it puts them higher than it did a year ago."
Last year at the conference meet, the men finished ninth, tallying 231 points. The women placed a little bit better finishing seventh, while totaling 171 points. K-State also looks to push their average finish and point total up after this year’s edition of the Big 12 Championships. The average finish for K-State is 8.25 for the men and 4.6 for the women. The average points scored are 211.5 and 134.4, respectfully.