KU women's cross country

Kansas cross country competed in the Gans Creek Classic Friday in Columbia, Missouri, where the women finished sixth and the men placed 12th. 

Kansas cross-country was off and running Friday morning at the Gans Creek Classic in Columbia, Missouri, where the women placed sixth with 180 points and the men finished 12th with 322 points.

The Jayhawks traveled for the first time this season as they competed against longtime former Big 12 rival Missouri. 16 other teams completed the field, giving KU some stiff competition compared to their last meet at Rim Rock Farm where Kansas ran against Kansas City and Oral Roberts. 

Big 12 conference foes Kansas State and Baylor appeared in Columbia. Wichita State, Iowa, Creighton, Texas A&M and Drake were among other teams competing. 

With the starting pistol sounding at 9 a.m, the KU men were off in the 8K. It was a tight race from start to finish, as Kansas seemingly stuck together in the middle of the pack, all finishing within two minutes of each other. 

Sophomore Jake Ralston was the fastest Jayhawks on the course Friday, finishing with a time of 24:59.5. Sophomore Teddy Buckley, freshman Peter Walsdorf, freshman Sam Hubert, freshman Mackinon Mokoro and freshman Cale Littrell followed Ralston across the finish line less than a minute after, and all placed in the top 100. 

The women’s 5K race followed shortly after the conclusion of the men’s race around 9:45 a.m. KU junior Sommer Herner began very strongly as she jockeyed for the first position through the early part of the race with three Bradley University freshmen. 

As a team, Kansas started fast as they ran in second place for much, but ultimately finished sixth out of 16, scoring 11 points behind in-state rival Kansas State. 

Sophomore Lona Latema made an incredible comeback. She began the first half of the race outside the top 20 and sprinted her way to fifth place with a time of 21:17.3. Following Latema were Kansas runners, sophomore Avryl Johnson, junior Sommer Herner and junior Faten Laribi placing in the top 50. 

Senior Yazmine Wright of Wichita State took first place finishing with a time of 20:53.9. The SEC dominated the women’s race as Texas A&M and Missouri placed first and second. Both teams had eight runners in the top 20. 

The Jayhawks return to the course Friday, Oct. 15, as they head to Tallahassee, Florida for Pre-Nationals. This will be the final regular-season meet of the season before the Big 12 and NCAA championships, according to KU Athletics

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