Emporia State sends two runners to DII cross country nationals

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 7:23 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Emporia State University will send a male and female runner to the NCAA DII Cross Country Championships for the first time in 19 years.

Redshirt freshman Jenna Ramsey placed fourth overall at the NCAA Central Regional Championships, while redshirt junior Matthew Maki placed 8th to qualify.

Ramsey is from Hutchinson High School, where she holds their school record for a 5,000-meter course.

“It makes all the hard work and long hours, the many miles and just the soreness that I felt in the mornings a lot just feel worth it,” she said. “It’s been incredible to go out and represent my teammates and a school that has backed me and supported me.”

Maki is an alum of Andover Central High School in Kansas. He began hitting his stride in the 10K at the end of the 2019 track season. COVID canceled the 2020 cross country season, and Maki says he wanted to be ready to return to competition.

“I put in three 80-mile weeks over the summer, so it’s really nice knowing that all that hard work has paid off,” he said. “I wasn’t really that good in high school and I was a walk-on here at Emporia, so it’s really cool to finish my career here as a national qualifier.”

This year’s national championship will run Saturday, Nov. 20, at The Abbey Course at Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, Fla., near Tampa. Topeka native and Hayden High School alum Robbie Schmidt also nabbed an at-large bid, running for Fort Hays State.

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As a team at regionals, the Emporia State men placed 10th and the women placed 22nd out of 35 teams.

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