AMES, Iowa – WSU’s cross country teams finished their season Friday at the 2013 Midwest Regional on the Iowa State Cross Country Course. As teams, the Shocker men finished 18th in their 10K by scoring 437 points, while the Shocker women finished 16th in their 6K by scoring 451 points.
Individually, sophomore Brady Johnson earned the highest finish for the Shocker men. He finished 44th with a time of 31:19.89, capping off a strong sophomore campaign that included four top 15 finishes.
Senior Samantha Shukla ended her WSU cross country career on a high note, finishing 41st with a time of 21:27.43 to pace the Shocker women. During this season, Shukla had five top 10 finishes including a third place finish at the Woody Greeno Invitational in Lincoln, Neb.
On the men’s side, Oklahoma State won the men’s Midwest Regional for the ninth time out of the last 11 seasons. They won by scoring just 45 points, defeating second place Tulsa, who scored 57 points. Host Iowa State finished third by scoring 113 points.
Senior Chris O’Hare from Tulsa won the men’s meet. His time of 30:27.94 was three tenths of a second faster than Trent Lusignan, a junior from South Dakota State. He finished second with a time of 30:30.24. Senior Jannis Topfer was third with a time of 30:31.09.
Shocker head cross country coach Kirk Hunter was happy with how a few of his men finished up the season.
“Johnson ran really well,” Hunter said. “Him and (junior) Ryan Hocker stepped up in the 10K, and (freshman) Kain Anderson stepped up as well. As a freshman, he did a really good job.”
Although Hunter likes how some of his men performed, the lack of depth hurt the team’s performance.
“We don’t have the depth for a race like this with all of these competitors,” Hunter said. “The men ran better here today than they did at conference, but we need more depth to be successful.”
Host Iowa State won the women’s meet as a team. The Cyclones’ win marks their fourth straight Midwest Region championship. Their score of 39 points was 20 points better than second place Minnesota, who scored 59 points. Oklahoma State rounded out the top three by finishing third with 192 points.
Cyclone Sophomore Crystal Nelson won the women’s meet by finishing with a time of 20:12.53. Junior Molly Kayfes from Minnesota finished second with a time of 20:20.83, and Iowa State freshman Bethanie Brown was third with a time of 20:24.03.
Hunter’s top three women performed well, but he believed the rest of the team was too far behind.
“Shukla and (junior) Ebeissa Nyandwi really ran well again,” Hunter said. “(Freshman) Sidney Hirsch ran well but we were too far back. My fourth and fifth best runners were so far back that we weren’t close to having a top 10 finish as a team. We can’t have that much of a gap during our races to be successful in races likes these.
“We can’t do much about how things went now, but hopefully my younger runners learned a lot and that’ll lead to the success in track this season.”
Track and field will begin their season on December 6 in an intrasquad meet, which will include many of the Shocker cross country runners in action. For more information on the cross country, and the track and field teams, visit goshockers.com.
--Wichita State University--