K-State Runners Hoping to Qualify for the NCAA Championships
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State men’s and women’s cross country runners hope to qualify for the NCAA Championships after their performance this weekend at the 2004 Midwest Regional Championships in Peoria, Ill. The top two men’s and women’s squads this weekend qualify for the NCAA Championships, along with the top-four individuals on each side who are not on the qualifying teams.
Head coach Michael Smith hopes to qualify individuals for the NCAA Championships after good performances this weekend, pointing out that senior Mathew Chesang could be one of those individuals, especially after his performance at the Big 12 Championships two weeks ago. Chesang’s third place finish was the highest conference finish by a K-State individual since Larry Beesley finished second in 1976.
"I would hope that Mathew can run as well as he did at Big 12s. If everything goes well the rest of the week, then he should,” Smith said. “I would hope he could be top-five in the region, and that should get him to the NCAA meet.”
Trisha Culbertson is again expected to pace the women’s squad, as she has done so at all five meets this season. However, she is going to have to run hard for a chance to get to the NCAA Championships. She will have extra motivation after just missing the top-15 at the Big 12 Championships two weeks ago.
“She needs to put some distance between her and potential people that can keep her out (of the NCAA meet). We will send her out a little harder and hope she can hang on,” said Smith.
Although not expected to qualify for the NCAA meet, the number two’s on both sides should be running their best races of the season.
“Our number two on the men’s side will either be Tyler Roark or Joseph Moore. For the women, the number two should be either Lysaira Roman-Del Valle or Christina Lara,” commented Smith. “These athletes should run lifetime bests--I’m expecting them to.”
Even though qualifying either the men’s or women’s teams looks hard with the stiff competition provided by the other schools, Smith is still looking for a high team finish.
“As for our teams, we want to be in the top-ten in our region,” Smith said. I would like our guys and our girls both to run close to their personal bests because I think we are ready to do that.”