LAWRENCE — The Kansas State men’s and women’s cross country teams both finished third at the Rim Rock Invitational. Senior Martina Tresch finished fifth with a time of 21:07.80 and junior Laura Galvan joined her in the top-10 finishing eighth with a time of 21:21.44.
Tresch, who has not ran in a 6K race since the 2011 season, was pleased with the way she ran in today’s race.
“I was definitely a little nervous because it was my first 6K since the 2011 season,” Tresch said. “I did not know what to expect with myself, I think I ran okay today.”
K-State head coach Michael Smith knows Tresch might still be a little rusty, but thinks she will be in competitive shape soon enough.
“She didn’t feel sharp, it was difficult for her to switch up gears,” Smith said. “She has not ran this type of race since 2011, she will get sharp here shortly.”
The K-State women placed five in the top-25, which was an improvement from last year’s Rim Rock Invitational, where they managed to only have two in the top-25. Alongside Tresch and Galvan, were sophomore Mary Frances Donnelly (12th – 22:14.99), senior Erika Schiller (21st – 22:43.16) and freshman Morgan Wedekind (23rd – 23:00.12).
Smith wanted to set the tone and have the women come out more aggressive at the beginning, something that hurt them towards the end.
“We went out a little hard, I just wanted them to be aggressive,” Smith said. “I think my plan may have back fired a little bit and we ultimately paid the price for it. Morgan Wedekind and Erika Schiller both started out very aggressive and just faded at the end.”
While Smith may not have been pleased with the end result, he was still satisfied with the tone his team set.
“We did not run to our potential today, but they came out aggressive and I cannot fault them for running that way,” Smith said. “We will hopefully improve from this race and continue to improve from here on out.”
Tresch echoed Smith’s thoughts.
“As a team we did not run our best race,” Tresch said. “I know my teammates and I will keep getting better and we will keep improving throughout the year.”
On the men’s side, senior Ryan Hershner (8th – 25:25.91) led the Wildcats to a third place finish at the Rim Rock Invitational. Joining Hershner in the top-25, were freshmen Jeffrey Bachman (11th - 25:38.93), Brett Bachman (14th – 25:45.20), Lukas Koch (21st – 26:11.57) and junior Logan Smith (25th – 26:30.61).
Smith was impressed with how well the men’s team ran as a whole.
“They ran as well as they have in a while,” Smith said. “They did a very good job of competing today and the freshmen have improved significantly. It is a work in progress but the improvement is very impressive.”
What impressed Smith in particular was how the freshman combination of the Bachmans and Koch ran today.
“They are still learning how to compete and they are trying to go out and compete against the large masses,” said Smith. “I think [Kansas University] has a pretty good group so it is good for those young freshmen to compete with a team like that.”
Kansas won the men’s meet, with Rice finishing second. Michigan won the women’s race, followed by Kansas.
The Wildcats will take another week break before traveling to Terre Haute, Ind., for the Pre-National Invitational on Oct. 19. The Pre-National Invitational will give the Wildcats their first look at the NCAA Championships course.