Rocking Rim Rock Collegiate

Dylan McManis

In one of their few close to home meets, the Washburn men’s and women’s cross country teams put in 5th and 7th place finishes respectively at the Oct.1 Rim Rock Collegiate Classic in Lawrence, Kansas.

The cross country program is in its inaugural season this year, with 15 members in the program. The teams have had several middle of the pack finishes, with their other best performance being dual 5th place finishes at the SBU Invitational on Sept. 2. Both the SBU Invitational and the Rim Rock Collegiate Classic had a total of eight participating teams to put those positions into perspective.

“It was nice to run on a home course and actually have my family come out and watch me,” said Jacob Klemz, a freshman runner who is one of this week’s Hy-Vee/Washburn Student Athletes of the Week.

While Klemz has previously put in two top ten times at the meets this season, at Rim Rock he clocked a time of 24:58 on 8 kilometers to put him in 16th place at the meet.

“I think I ran really well, but I think I’m capable of a lot more,” said Klemz. “I think I can improve on that at conference and regionals, and hopefully nationals. I got my teammates working with me every day, a great group of guys, its rewarding being able to get up there and finish strong.”

Seven of the nine players on the men’s team are freshmen. This is an important detail about the new program, because many of the runners will be sticking around for several years to come, meaning that the team can improve.

“I think the program’s great,” said Klemz. “They are doing a great job for their first year, leaps and bounds of what I expected it to be. It’s really impressive and we are all having a great time.”

On the women’s team, Kaylee Snell led the team and had a 46th place finish, and although we don’t have her time, we do know that fellow Ichabod Paige Miller clocked in less than a minute later at 24:45 with 52nd place. Miller is the only upperclassman on the team, a junior, with the other five members of the team being freshmen.

Almost as quickly as the season began however, the team’s final regular season meet will be on Oct. 8 at the FHSU Open in Victoria, Kansas. Then the team heads to the MIAA Championships in Elsa, Illinois Oct. 22 before having a shot at the NCAA Regionals in Sioux Falls, South Dakota Nov. 5.