STILLWATER, Okla. – Sophomore Ethan Powell recorded the highest finish by any Kansas State men’s cross country runner at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship in 15 years, claiming a spot at 26th place at a pace of 31:35.0, to highlight action by the Wildcats at the OSU Cross Country Course.
On the strength of Powell’s finish, the K-State men’s team earned their fourth consecutive top-20 finish and their highest since 2017 at the Midwest Championship with a 12th-place finish with 317 points in the 10k race. The 12th-place finish tied for the third highest since 2000 and the highest since placing 10th in 2017.
“I knew we would be a little bit down without having Jackson (Schroeder), but they stepped up and ran well today!”, said head coach Ryun Godfrey. “It’s been a pleasure coaching these guys. They give their best each and every time.”
Powell, a native of Colorado Springs, Colorado, would climb over 20 spots before finishing 26th during the 10k meet. The 26th place-finish was the best at the NCAA Midwest Regional since Mathew Chesang earned a second-place finish for the Wildcats in 2004.
“I’m excited for Ethan as he was just one place shy of All-Region,” said Godfrey. “But I look at it as something he can build on for next year! And of course, this is true for all of them.”
Finishing after Powell for the 10k race would be sophomore Cooper Schroeder (57th, 32:11.1), freshman David Lutgen (74th, 32:29.9), freshman Hadley Splechter (81st, 32:41.0), junior Noah Stevenson (82nd, 32:41.3), freshman Jack Thomas (112th, 33;06.2) and freshman Kerby Depenbusch (152nd, 34;01.7). Schroeder, who competed in 2018 NCAA Midwest Regional as a freshman, bested his personal record in the 10k race by over 14 seconds.
The men’s squad competed with four new runners at the NCAA Midwest Regional, while Powell and Cooper Schroeder would be the lone returners from last year’s NCAA Midwest Regional team. They also competed without Jackson Schroeder, who was their highest finisher (22nd) at the Big 12 Championships on Nov. 2.
Before the men’s 10k race, the women’s 6k race kicked off an hour earlier at the OSU Cross Country Course with the squad placing 23rd overall with 675 points. The Wildcats would be led once again by freshman Jaybe Shufelberger, who held her own during the 6k meet, finishing at 53rd overall with a pace of 21:59.0.
Those finishing behind Shufelberger included sophomore Cayli Hume (126th, 22:56.0), freshman Hannah Stewart (143rd, 23:11.2), freshman Delaney Kemp (173rd, 23:45.9), senior Anna Keeley (193rd, 24:21.6) and freshman Cailan Steward (197th, 24:28.2). Hume and Keeley were the only returners from last year’s 2018 NCAA Midwest Regional team on the women’s side.
In regards to personal bests for both teams, Kemp marked a new individual record in the 6k race while the whole men’s team claimed new records in the 10k meet.
Illinois would claim with the women’s 6k title at the Midwest Regional Championship with 108 points, while Tulsa captured the men’s 10k team title with 37 points and four runners placing in the top-10. The Iowa State men’s team (54 points) and the Tulsa women’s team (123) also earned bids to the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana on November 23 by placing second.
Top individual performers at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships were Iowa State’s Cailie Logue in the Women’s 6k Race, while Edwin Kurgat would grab the top spot for the Cyclones in the Men’s 10k Race.
The Midwest Championships mark the end of the 2019 racing season for the Wildcat cross country teams with numerous highlights to tout. The men’s team finished in the top three for three different meets and claimed top-10 spots in four of the six meets this year. The women’s squad would go on to finish in the top-10 twice in 2019, while Shufelberger became the first Wildcat freshman since 2003 to earn All-Big 12 honors during the Big 12 Cross Country Championships back on November 2.
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Men’s Team Finishes: 1. Tulsa, 37 points; 2. Iowa State, 54 points; 3. Kansas, 150 points; 4. South Dakota St., 166 points; 5. Oklahoma State, 179 points; 6. Minnesota, 181 points; 7. Iowa, 184 points; 8. Nebraska, 218 points; 9. Illinois, 270 points; 10. Missouri, 295 points; 11. Bradley, 310; 12. K-State, 317 points.
Men’s Top-Five Individuals: 1. Edwin Kurgat (Iowa State), 30:38.3; 2. Thomas George (Missouri), 30:42.5; 3. Patrick Dever (Tulsa), 30:46.8; 4. Alec Basten (Minnesota), 30:48.3; 5. Nathan Mylenek (Iowa), 30:51.0.
K-State Men’s Finishes: 26. Ethan Powell, 31:35.0; 57. Cooper Schroeder, 32:11.1; 74. David Lutgen, 32:29.9; 81. Hadley Splechter, 32:41.0; 82. Noah Stevenson, 32:41.3; 112. Jack Thomas, 33:06.2; 152. Kerby Depenbusch, 34:01.7.
Women’s Team Finishes: 1. Illinois, 108 points; 2. Tulsa, 123 points; 3. Minnesota, 130 points; 4. Oklahoma State, 159 points; 5. Missouri, 172 points; 6. Iowa State, 192 points; 7. Loyola (Ill.), 237 points; 8. Wichita State, 240 points; 9. Northern Illinois, 277 points; 10. Iowa, 283 points; 23. K-State, 674 points.
Women’s Top-Five Finishes: 1. Cailie Logue (Iowa State), 20:20.6; 2. Taylor Somers (Oklahoma State), 20:28.0; 3. Winny Koskei (Wichita State), 20:34.8; 4. Ashley Tutt (Northern Illinois), 20:35.9; 5. Caitlin Klopper (Tulsa), 20:37.4.
K-State Women’s Finishes: 53. Jaybe Shufelberger, 21:59.0; 126. Cayli Hume, 22:56.0; 143. Hannah Stewart, 23:11.2; 179. Delaney Kemp, 23:45.9; 193. Anna Keeley, 24:21.6; 197. Cailan Steward, 24:28.2.
Source: Kansas State Sports