TERRE HAUTE, Ind — The K-State men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Pre-National Invitational on Saturday at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country course in Terre Haute, Ind. The Wildcat men finished 16th in the 8K white race, while the women finished in 30th in the 6K blue race.
The Wildcat women were up against their toughest competition so far. K-State competed against six top-15 teams in the 6K blue race, including No. 2 Florida State, No. 5 Georgetown, No. 6 Oregon, No. 11 Stanford, No. 12 Colorado and No. 14 Michigan.
Smith was glad to get the much-needed experience going up against teams that are ranked in the top-25.
“We hoped that as a team we could finish in the top-20,” Smith said. “The field was very strong today we were competing against some of the best teams in the country. We beat some teams we were supposed to beat and competed well against Big 12 schools and schools in our region.”
Four Wildcats, junior Laura Galvan, senior Martina Tresch, Sophomore Mary Frances Donnelly, and freshman Morgan Wedekind, managed to set season best times with their performances at the Pre-National Invitational. Galvan placed 37th with a time of 20:54.40, Tresch placed 51st with a time of 21:06.60, Donnelly placed 168th with a time of 21:53.40, and Wedekind finished 244th with a time of 22:20.40.
With Galvan finishing 37th, this is her second consecutive year of finishing in the top-50 in a very competitive meet which showcases 340 runners in the blue race.
Smith felt she could have performed even better with a faster start.
“Laura did a good job of playing catch-up today,” Smith said. “It is a very big meet there are 340 runners and she made one small mistake of not running hard out of the gate, so she had to try and run past a wall of runners.”
Going into the Big 12 Championships for their next meet, Smith knows his team will have to come out and perform well.
“We are measured by how we compete in the Big 12 meet, we have two weeks to prepare for that and are looking forward to competing,” Smith said. “I think Mary Frances and Morgan are looking to come around and they are figuring out how to compete.”
Smith believed that the men did not run to their full potential today.
“I had higher hopes for our men based on how we raced at Rim Rock Invitational where we ran to a third place finish,” Smith said. “We were not able to duplicate that mainly because we rely on freshmen. They are just inconsistent and hopefully they figure it out sooner or later.”
The Wildcat men placed 16th in the white 8K with a score of 424 points. Ohio U. won the meet with a score of 99 points, UNC-Greensboro finished second with 119 points, while Clemson finished third with 139 points. Freshman Jeff Bachman led all K-State men with a 64th place finish in a time of 26:12.60.
The Wildcats will take another week break before traveling to Waco, Texas, for the Big 12 Championships on Nov. 2. The Wildcats will look to rebound from last season’s eighth and sixth place finishes by the men and women, respectively.