Koskei secures NCAA Cross Country Championships birth

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Khánh Nguyễn

Wichita State's Winny broke the Wichita State 3000m school record, March 22, 2019 at Cessna Stadium.

The Wichita State men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Midwest Regional in Stillwater, Oklahoma, over the weekend.

Here’s how the teams performed during the tournament, which saw two Shockers earn All-Region honors:

Women

On the women’s side of things, the Shockers were led by another outstanding performance from junior Winny Koskei. Koskei finished in third place behind a pair of runners from the Big 12. She finished the 6K race with a time of 20:34.8, earning her All-Region honors. 

Koseki will be the lone Shocker represented at the NCAA Championships event, as WSU finished eighth out of 33 schools overall. 

Five of the seven Shocker runners finished in the top 100. Rebekah Topham and Yazmine Wright placed 31st and 38th, respectively. Abeda Sullivan finished in 84th and Halle Johnson took 86th.

Koskei will have a bit of rest before the NCAA Championships begin this Saturday in Terre Haute, Indiana. Koskei is one of the top four runners to make the final race without a qualifying team. 

Head Coach Kirk Hunter said he wants Koskei to expect the unexpected.

“I just want to get Winny’s legs feeling better,” Hunter said in a statement to GoShockers. “Just like last year, you never know how that meet is going to turn out. It’s going to be a tough meet, and for her to become an All-American again will be tough.”

Men

The Shocker men were led by a 17th place finish from junior Ben Flowers, who recorded a time of 31:18.7 in the 10K. With his top-20 finish, Flowers earned All-Region honors.

Only two other Shockers finished in the top 100. Zac Penrod placed 37th and Ethan Kossover took home 88th.

Overall, the men’s team finished 13 of 27 teams with a total of 352 points. The American Athletic Conference was well-represented, though, as Tulsa won the men’s division and had five runners finish in the top 11. 

Despite Flowers’ strong performance, no WSU runners qualified for the NCAA Championships. The Shockers had a strong season that saw them win the JK Gold Classic and finish fifth in the AAC Championships.