MANHATTAN, Kan. (KStateSports.com) – The Kansas State men’s and women’s cross country teams enjoyed a strong start to the season on Saturday (September 3) with the women finishing first and men second at the Bob Timmons Classic held at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kan., against competing schools Kansas, Kansas City and Oral Roberts.
The women’s team collected 24 points to earn their first meet title since Sept. 8, 2018, at Vic Godfrey Open, as they tallied five top-10 finishes. Junior Hannah Stewart led the way with a second-place finish in a personal-best time of 18:07.8, which is the best 5k time by a Wildcat at Rim Rock Farm. The mark was previously held by Irma Bettencourt (1995) and Kassidy Johnson (2020) at 18:09.0.
Stewart was joined in the top-10 by junior Cailan Steward (third; 18:22.18), freshman Grace Meyer (fourth; 18:32.24), junior Sydney Burton (sixth; 18:33.87) and freshman Cecilia Fisher (ninth; 19:15.35).
The men’s team placed second with 35 points, six runners finished in the top-15, including three in the top-10. Junior Hadley Splechter paced the men’s squad with a third-place finish in a personal-best 6k time of 18:36.5. Senior Stephen Kielhofner (sixth; 18:42.74) and sophomore Jack Vincent (eighth; 18:52.09) also finished in the top-10 with personal-best times.
FROM THE HEAD COACH
Head Coach Randy Cole
On the women’s first place finish…
“The women went out very strong, nice lead pack of ladies and they kind of controlled the race, good Kansas runner had taken over for the individual victory, but we had a nice pack in there. The last three quarters, it was pretty tough, it got pretty muggy, the clouds disappeared, and the sun came beating down and I think they struggled a bit over the last part of the race even though they hung tough and competed well.”
On the men’s second place finish…
“The Jayhawks [men] kind of got out to a slight lead there and we weren’t able to fully penetrate that pack to flip the scores around. The guys understand that it’s not just your top runner that counts but your 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th runners count just as strongly.”
FROM THE COURSE
Junior Hannah Stewart
On the first meet of the season…
“It felt great to be back out there racing with the team after being injured last year. I think it was a good rust buster for us as we move forward in the season. I’m excited for what this team can do together this year.”
On freshman Grace Meyer and Cecilia Fisher…
“We are proud of them as they have been training well in preparation for the season. The future is bright for the both of them. They are both tough girls willing to do what it takes to compete at a high level.”
MEN’S TEAM FINISHES (6k race)
1. Kansas, 22 pts
2. K-State, 35 pts
3. Kansas City, 98 pts
4. Oral Roberts, 101 pts
K-STATE’S INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (6k race)
3. Hadley Splechter, 18:36.5
6. Stephen Kielhofner, 18:42.8
8. Jack Vincent, 18:52.1
11. Tommy Hazen, 19:00.8
12. Jack Moore, 19:04.6
13. David Lutgen, 19:06.1
17. Matthew Hauser, 19:20.7
19. Alex Gutierrez, 19:32.3
23. Mike Rohlinger, 19:41.1
24. Carson McEachern, 19:52.8
29. Aiden Higgerson, 20:46.8
30. Christian Buehler, 20:51.2
WOMEN’S TEAM FINISHES (5k race)
1. K-State, 24 pts
2. Kansas, 42 pts
3. Kansas City, 78 pts
4. Oral Roberts, 94 pts
K-STATE’S INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (5k race)
2. Hannah Stewart, 18:07.8
3. Cailan Steward, 18:22.2
4. Grace Meyer, 18:32.3
6. Sydney Burton, 18:33.9
9. Cecilia Fisher, 19:15.4
14. Katie Kasunic, 19:45.2
18. Helen Giefer, 20:17.0
20. Kate Kowalik, 20:53.2
MEET DAY MEMORABLES
- All women finished in the top-20 out of 32 registered runners.
- All men finished in the top-30 out of 43 runners.
- Junior Hannah Stewart’s personal-best 5k time of 18:07.77 was nearly 39 seconds faster than previous time, while her second-place finish was the highest of her career.
- Junior Hadley Splechter beat his previous 6k personal best in 2020 of 19:10.0, while his third-place finish was the highest of his career.
- Junior Cailan Steward shattered her previous best 5k time by more than 1 minute, finishing third in a time of 18:22.18.
- Freshman Grace Meyer earned a top-5 finish in her first collegiate race, placing fourth overall.
- Senior Stephen Kielhofner beat his previous 6k personal best in 2020 of 19:01.7.
- Junior Jack Moore beat his previous 6k personal best in 2020 of 19:15.5.
- Junior Sydney Burton beat her previous 5k personal best in 2020 of 18:44.6.
- Junior Katie Kasunic beat her previous 5k personal best from Kansas City in 2019 of 19:47.8.
K-State returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 17 when the Wildcats make a trek north to Lincoln, Neb., for the Woody Greeno/Jay Dirksen Invitational at Mahoney Park Golf Course. It will mark the first time competing in the meet since 2019 when the men finished second and women placed eighth.