Cross Country teams face tough competition at KU

The Fort Hays State University cross country team faced its best competition to date last weekend at the Rim Rock Farm Classic hosted by the University of Kansas.

The women’s team came away with a seventh place finish out of 12 teams, but there was only one NCAA Division II school ahead of the Tigers.

“They did pretty good considering the circumstances,” said Jason McCullough, head coach. “We were missing a couple of our top runners.”

The Tigers were without Ramsey McCarter, Topeka junior, due to illness. McCarter has been one of the top two runners for FHSU this year.

“That probably affected us quite a bit,” McCullough said.

FHSU was also without redshirt Vanessa Resh, Shelton, Neb. junior, who is varsity runner for the Tigers this season.

Pittsburg State University was the only non-Division I school ahead of the Tigers.

“It’s promising knowing we were missing some people and did really well,” McCullough said.

Micki Krzesinski, Edwardsville sophomore, led the way for the Tigers with a 22nd place finish of the 6k course in 23:02.

“She went out and competed with the top D1 girls and had a pretty good race,” McCullough said. “I was proud of how she stepped up.”

Chelsea Jackson, Garden City freshman, was the second Tiger in at 41st. Amanda Morgan, Topeka freshman came in 52nd; it was her first time this year placing within the top five on the team.

“Amanda stepped up well,” McCullough said. “She was the runner of the week on the women’s side. It’s good to see people step up when we’re not full strength.”

Alex Keehn, Clay Center senior, and Hannah Robinson, Edmond, Okla. senior, rounded out the scoring for Tigers.

The men came in 10th overall out of 12 teams with two Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association teams placing ahead of them.

“I think overall we didn’t compete well on the men’s side,” McCullough said. “We had a couple people improve, but overall it looked like we just didn’t go out and compete.”

Ryan Hopkins, Wichita junior, led the way for FHSU with a 43rd place finishing the 8k course in 26:16.

Seth Parres had his best finish team-wise as the second Tiger in, placing 71st running 27:10.

Redshirt Isaac Williams, Pretty Prairie junior, is usually the team’s number one runner, but has been battling some stomach issues lately. He placed 84th overall.

“He was fortunate to just finish the race with as poorly has he felt,” McCullough said. “He was courageous to do that.”

Troy Wineinger, Tribune sophomore, and Brock Elgin, Topeka junior, were the other top finishers for the Tigers. Wineinger placed 82nd and Elgin came in 87th.

The Tigers have nearly two weeks off before the Tiger Open, which is a home meet on Oct. 18 at 9 a.m. For this week, McCullough will put in long and tough workouts, but scale them back the week of the Tiger Open to make sure the team can compete well.

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