LAWRENCE, Kan. -
After sweeping the Bob Timmons Invitational, the Kansas men's and women's cross country teams look to earn another pair of victories at the Kansas State vs. Kansas Duel Friday in Manhattan. The women will compete at 6:45 pm and the men will follow at 7:15 pm.
"Any way you slice it, it's still a preseason meet," assistant cross country coach Doug Clark said. "The first meet that matters as far as scoring at large points for nationals is Sept. 29 in Minnesota (Roy Griak Invitational). Having said that, the fact that it's against the Wildcats, I think people will be a little more fired up than normal."
Senior Colby Wissel is looking for his third straight victory at the meet, winning it his sophomore and junior seasons. Last season, Wissel set a personal record covering the 5K course in a time of 14:57.2. After Wissel, the next two runners that crossed the finish line were Jayhawks. Patrick McGowan and Bret Imgrund helped KU to 25 points beating the Wildcats by five points.
"I spoke to the kids about this earlier in the week at practice," Clark said. We are just using these (first two meets) to be as prepared as possible and to run as well as possible when we compete in Minnesota."
The women will try to defeat K-State on its home course for the third consecutive time. Last season KU won by one point, led by Alicia McGregor's third place finish and personal record time of 18:50.2. Lisa Morrisey finished close behind finishing fourth (18:58.6). Morrisey, along with Hayley Harbert (19:46.5) and Megan James, (19:56.0) all set personal records for the 5K.
The women will be without the services of sophomore Lauren Bonds and the men without senior Paul Hefferon, but Clark feels like the decision will benefit both runners later in the fall.
"Paul and Lauren are not competing," Clark said. "This is a decision that the coaching staff made and both of those kids feel like they are better off at the end of the season as we get to the more important meets."
Kansas State enters the meet after competing at the J.K. Gold Classic Saturday hosted by Wichita State. Both the Wildcat men and women placed second to the Shockers. The Wildcat women were led by freshman Sydney Messick's fourth place finish, while junior Alex Umberger led the men's squad, placing third.
Warner Park will host the 5K Sunflower Showdown for both the men and women.
Stay tuned to kuathletics.com for the results from the Kansas State vs. Kansas Duel.