After two weeks away from competition, the Kansas cross country teams will be back in action at the 22nd annual Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 29.
The men's team has found success in every meet so far this season, winning the Bob Timmons Invitational and the Kansas State vs. Kansas Dual. Senior Colby Wissel is a perfect 2-0 on the season, capturing both meet titles.
Head Coach Stanley Redwine thinks that having two weeks off is nothing out of the ordinary and is a part of reaching their long-term goal.
"Well it's just a training cycle that we go through," Redwine said. "I think that we are better conditioned this weekend than we were two weeks ago or three weeks ago and I think that's what it comes down to. The training philosophy that Coach (Doug) Clark and I have is obtaining the goal at the end of the season."
The women's team won the season opening Bob Timmons Invitational and then fell to Kansas State in the Dual meet.
At last season's Roy Griak Invitational, Wissel led the men to a ninth place finish by placing 10th overall (24:53.8). Paul Hefferson was right behind him at 16th (25:04.7). The only other Jayhawk runner to participate last year that is on this year's squad was Bret Imgrund.
The women's team has more experience at the meet than the men. Of the 11 women that ran in 2006, seven return for this weekend's race. Last year, Senior Lisa Morrisey was the first Jayhawk to cross the finish line for the women, as the team placed 23rd out of 31 teams.
There are three men's races and two women's races with a projected total of 3,000 runners participating. The Jayhawks will be competing in the gold division against seven teams of the 15-team Midwest Regional. The caliber of teams competing at this meet will help the Jayhawks earn at-large points for the NCAA Championships.
At-large points are necessary for teams that do not automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships by finishing in the top two at their regional. The points are awarded to teams that finish ahead of opponents who automatically qualify at their regional meet.
"We want to do well, but it's not the season maker for us," Redwine said. "Points are not determined until the regional meet, but the goal is to be in the top two at the region meet so we don't need points. This is a safety net for us if we don't, but the goal is to be an automatic (qualifier). We don't have to rely on somebody else to get us into the NCAA (Championships)."
Awards will be given to the top seven runners of winning teams in each division, the top three teams in each division and the top 20 individuals in each division.
The men's 8K race starts at 12:10 p.m., followed by the women's 6K at 12:55 p.m. The event is being held at the University of Minnesota's Les Bolstad Golf Course in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Results can be found at www.kuathletics.com or www.gophersports.com.
Gold Men's at 12:10 p.m.
Arizona State, Belmont, Bradley, Eastern Washington, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Lamar, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Navy, Nebraska, North Dakota State, Northern Arizona, Oklahoma, San Diego, South Dakota State, Utah Valley State, Virginia, Washington State, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Xaiver
Gold Women's at 12:55 p.m.
Arizona State, Belmont, Bradley, Eastern Washington, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Lamar, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota State, Northern Arizona, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma, San Diego, San Francisco, South Dakota State, UC Santa Barbara, Utah Valley State, Virginia, Washington State, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Xaiver