092918 Women Cross Country 4

KU women's cross country paces near the front at the Rim Rock Farm Collegiate Classic Sept. 29.

The 2018 Big 12 cross country championships marked stellar performances from Kansas, capped by five runners placing in the top 15 — earning All-Big 12 honors. The women's team placed third and the men's placed fourth at the ISU Cross Country Course in Ames, Iowa on Firday Oct. 26.

Senior Sharon Lokedi came home with her fourth consecutive Big 12 honor, having previously secured back-to-back titles in her sophomore and junior season. 

After starting out the race aggressively and moving up to second place early-on, Lokedi finished in fifth place with a time of 20:17. 

The women's third place finish marked the team's best performance at a conference meet in the history of Kansas cross country.

“We're really excited," Kansas coach Stanley Redwine said, according to a Kansas Athletics press release. "Obviously, everything doesn't go your way the whole way throughout the race, but how can you not be excited about our finish for the team. That was the goal coming in and that's what we accomplished."

Freshman Ally Ryan ran well for the Jayhawks as she placed 13th with a time of 20:55, joining Lokedi as an All-Big 12 runner, which is the best performance for a freshman since Lokedi placed 11th in 2015. 

The Kansas men had three runners secure All-Big 12 honors as well, marking the most since 2006. Senior Michael Melgares (10th, 24:11), sophomore Ben Butler (12th, 24:14) and junior Dylan Hodgson (13th, 24:17) helped the men to a fourth place finish.

“I thought that they ran a complete race,” Redwine said in the release. “We did have some people fall off at the end and fortunately enough everyone up front did their job, so we could finish fourth. It was a close race between third and fourth, 70-79.”

Next for Kansas is the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on Nov. 9 in Peoria, Illinois.