Mendez Earns All-Big 12 Honors at Championships

LUBBOCK, Texas – On Friday the men’s and women’s cross country teams laced up for the 12th annual Big 12 Championships with first-time host Texas Tech University. Junior Liliani Mendez placed 13th among the
talented women’s field while gaining the recognition of being an
All-Big 12 runner.

The women’s team placed 12th with a team score of 257. K-State and
Colorado remain to be the only two schools that have earned a Big 12
Championship in cross country as Colorado took home the women’s team
title. Sally Kipyego of Texas Tech captured the women’s individual
title for the second-consecutive season with a 6,000-meter time of
19:37.79.

Mendez led the Wildcats for the third time this season by clocking a
6,000-meter time of 21:36.39, good for a 13th-place finish overall.
With the top-15 finish Mendez earned All-Big 12 honors for the 2007
season. Last season Mendez finished 15th overall in Lawrence.

Beverly Ramos, Sept. 18 Big 12 Runner of the Week, finished 29th overall
with a time of 22:09.79 in the first Big 12 Championship meet of her
young career.

The men’s team placed 11th overall with a team score of 318. Colorado
proved their dominance in the Big 12 by remaining to be the only men’s
cross country team to earn a Big 12 title. Brent Vaughan takes the
men’s individual title back to Boulder, Colo., with an 8,000-meter time
of 24:22.30.

The one-two punch of juniors Alex Umberger and Danny Schneider continued
on Friday, as Umberger paced the Wildcats with Schneider close behind.
Umberger finished 43rd with an 8,000-meter time of 26:12.55. The native
of Wichita, Kan., has led the men in every competition since last
season’s Big 12 Championships in Lawrence, Kan. Schneider earned a
56th-place finish with a time of 26:36.10. The pair has now finished
first and second in every meet this season for the Wildcats.

Junior Colin Swaney finished two spots behind Schneider at 58th, with a
time of 26:37.80 in his second race of the season. All of the returning
runners improved their placing and times from last season’s Big 12
Championship meet at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence.

Both teams return to action at the Midwest Region Championships in
Peoria, Ill., on Nov. 10 where the Wildcats will have the chance to
qualify for the NCAA Championships on Nov. 19 in Terre Haute, Ind.


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