Cross country program looks to finish strong despite losing seniors.


Baswanth Naidu/The Sunflower

Freshman Jacob Meyers, Riley Vandaveer and sophomore Erik Enriquez practicing at Riverside Park in Wichita on Aug. 23. For their first meet of the 2022 season, both teams will travel to Augusta to compete at the JK Gold Classic.

To commence the 2023 season, Wichita State’s cross country team is prepared to prove themselves after losing a slew of seniors. 

Head Coach Kirk Hunter is working with his runners to improve as the season starts. Hunter said both the men and women’s teams are looking strong.


The women’s team lost last season’s American Athletic Conference Champion Yazmine Wright who was a fifth year senior. The team lost five runners from last season including two seniors. This season, they are welcoming many new, young members into their ranks.

Overall, the team is looking to improve on their conference performance from last year. 

“I believe they can do it, but we won’t know until we see all the other teams,” Hunter said. 

Collectively, they finished sixth overall at the AAC Championships and twenty-first overall at the midwest NCAA Regional. 

“This is a good group, and I’m excited to see what they can do together,” Hunter said. “The bonds that they are starting to form are going to lead into some great things as we go through the year.”

Junior Lubna Aldulaimi is searching for team growth this season. The young team will have a lot of influence over what the women’s program becomes. Aldulaimi says that the multiple coaches they encounter are all very welcoming and helpful. 

Aldulaimi ran the JK Gold Classic placing 6th last season, and finished 45th at the AAC Championship.

“I want Wichita State girls to be known as what they were before, like a winning team, a championship team,” Aldulaimi said.  


Graduate student runner Clayton Duchatschek said he hopes to qualify for nationals as a team and as an individual. Duchatschek finished 14th overall at the AAC Championships last season and 33rd overall at the NCAA Midwest Regional. 

The team lost six runners from last season, including one senior.

 “I feel like Wichita State genuinely wants to make you the best athlete possible,” Duchatschek said. 

This year’s cross country season will start on Sept. 3. The teams will compete at the 4 Mile Creek Resort at the JK Gold Classic in Augusta.