Women Take Momentum Into Midwest Regional
MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State women’s cross country team will compete in the Midwest Region Championships, Saturday Nov. 15, in Stillwater, Oklahoma hosted by Oklahoma State. The NCAA qualifying race will begin at 11:00 a.m. followed by an awards ceremony at 12:45 p.m..
The Wildcats have moved up to No. 5 in the Midwest rankings with their performance at the Big 12 Championships. Minnesota headlines the event and rankings followed by Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska rounding out the top five.
Coach Michael Smith’s team has continued to improve from week to week throughout the season and will look to run at their fullest potential this Saturday. The Wildcats will need a strong performance from their middle runners and a little luck from the competition to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
“Our intent is to run to our potential, which is in the top six,” said Smith. “Right now we are kind of knocking on the door to qualify for the (NCAA) Championship but it will take our best effort. We are going there with a purpose to be as competitive as we want to be. The women decided in August that they wanted to be a good November team for the championship races.”
ADVANTAGES FOR THE ‘CATS
The women have run on Oklahoma State’s Cross Country Course already this year, giving them a slight advantage against the competition. The Cowboy Jamboree was held on Oct. 4 in which the Wildcats placed fifth on the very challenging course.
The ‘Cats will get a good push form seniors Liliani Mendez and Emily Dittemore who will be eager to get to the NCAA Championships for the final time of their careers. Mendez placed 15th last season at the regional, and Dittemore placed 111th.
Sydney Messick has come on strong as of late after sitting out the first half of the season due to injuries. Last week at the Big 12 Championships Messick had a surprising finish for the ‘Cats when she crossed the line in 32nd place. The addition of Messick to the line up could prove a trip to the NCAA Championships
LAST TIME OUT
Junior Beverly Ramos led the Wildcat women with a fourth place individual finish and a 6K time of 20:46.80. Overall the team finished sixth. The sixth-place team finish is the best finish for the women since 2001 when Amy Mortimer led the Wildcats to a fourth place individual finish. The Wildcats now have four top 10 finishes on the season in five total competitions.
Ramos was the Wildcats top runner for the fifth consecutive event and finished in the top 10 for the fifth time this season. Following Ramos for the ‘Cats was senior Liliani Mendez with a 15th place finish and a time of 21:40.25. Sydney Messick ran just her second event of the season due to injury and placed 32nd overall with a time of 22:12.55.
Results will be posted at www.kstatesports.com as soon as they become available.