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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Cross country sweeps at JK Classic

Wichita State cross country ran their first meet of the season in their new home course Clapp Cross Country Course ​​at L.W. Clapp Park. The Shockers swept the competition at the JK Classic, the women’s team scored a perfect 15 while the men scored 16. 

“I hope we will be a team that people pay attention to this year,” head coach Kirk Hunter said.

Wichita State competed against Emporia State, Newman University, Cowley College, Friends University and Kansas Wesleyan. The men also competed against Mid-America Christian University. 

Women’s 5K 

Junior Lucy Ndungu smiled as he across the finish line to take first place in her debut as a Shocker, running her personal best 17:42.5.

“I’m just really happy, this is a season opener and to see how capable I am right now, I can’t wait to see midseason and end of the season what I can do,” Ndungu said. 

Hunter said Ndungu has upped her game since training in Colorado over the summer. 

“It really paid off today because she looked really good,” Hunter said. 

 Junior Sarah Bertry took third and senior Lubna Aldulaimi came in fourth. 

“I know the other girls were right behind, that made me more happy because I know like we’re all coming in together,” Ndungu said. 

Men’s 6K

Senior Iestyn Williams finished in second place for the Men’s 6K in 18:16.6; he hadn’t run in a cross country meet since he was 16. Due to injury, Williams has not been able to compete in cross country as a Shocker.

“It’s my first cross country in about six years, so I’m just really glad to be on the sideline and competing as well,” Williams said. 

Hunter said Williams wasn’t sure where he’d be in cross country during a meeting earlier this season. The coach said Williams is an 800m runner but during a training camp he ran a 10 mile escalation run.

“In (Williams’) meeting with me, about his goals (for) this fall (he) was (saying) ‘I hope I can make top seven or nine on the team,’” Hunter said. “He’s obviously gonna be one of our top guys.”

Williams said Hunter wanted the team to run together up to the 4k and after that they could take off.

“I looked around,” Williams said. “And I thought, ‘Okay, I’m in the right place.’” 

At the home opener, Hunter ran newcomers unattached to protect their season and to make the decision of whether to redshirt or race them in uniform. 

Junior Adam Rzentkowski took first place in the 6K, 18:09.3 but did not run in uniform. 

Senior Jackson Caldwell, redshirt junior Trey Rios and junior Zander Cobb finished in the top five.

Wichita State’s next run will be at the Greeno/Dirksen Invitational in Nebraska on Sept. 16. More information can be found on goshockers.com

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About the Contributors
Melanie Rivera-Cortez, Sports Editor
Cheyanne Tull, Reporter
Cheyanne Tull is a first year reporter, photographer and illustrator for The Sunflower. Tull is double majoring in graphic design and journalism & media production. She hopes to work for outdoor publications in the future combining creativity, nature, and rock climbing. Tull uses she/her pronouns.

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  • AnonymousSep 6, 2023 at 11:41 am

    The name of the coach is Kirk Hunter!!!