Kansas' Stowe Earns All-Conference Honors at Big 12 Cross Country Championships
Oct. 29, 2011
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - KU senior Rebeka Stowe collected All-Big 12 honors for the second-consecutive season as she crossed the finish line in seven-place at the 2011 Big 12 Cross Country Championships Saturday. Stowe's finish propelled the women's team to a seventh-place team finish, while senior Austin Bussing also paced the KU men to seventh in the team standings.
"We didn't place as well as we wanted to on both sides," said Kansas Head Coach Stanley Redwine. "Austin Bussing, on the men's side, ran really well and I thought Rebeka Stowe being seventh was really good. We had too much space between our No. 1 runners and our No. 5 runners. We just have to have more consistency at the top."
Stowe, who hails from Olathe, Kan., led the KU women from start to finish and was within the leaders for the majority of the race. In addition to setting a career-best 6K time of 19:52.3, her seventh-place finish was the highest a KU women has ever finished at the Big 12 meet, toping Laura Lavoie's eighth in 2002.
"It's exciting," Stowe said of her accomplishment. "I have pretty high expectations for myself, so sometimes it doesn't go as well as I would've liked. At the same time though, it's an awesome experience and it's something I should be really proud of and excited I could come out and help the team."
Sticking close behind Stowe was fellow senior Kara Windisch, who clocked in with a time of 20:24.7 and crossed the finish line in 17th. The top-20 finish was the highest of the Overland Park, Kan., native's career at the league meet and was just two spots from making her a member of the All-Big 12 team.
Rounding out the women's top seven was junior Tessa Turcotte (21:05.7) in 43rd place, junior Kyra Kilwein (21:28) in 45th, freshman Liza Tauscher (21:29.3) in 56th, sophomore Brittany Tate (21:43) in 66th and senior Cori Chrisensen (22:07.2) with a 75th-place finish.
"We had some good things happen," Stowe explained. "Kara (Windisch) did really well today. I was really proud of her just getting out and doing what she needed to do. We just need to get everyone together and on the same page at regionals."
For the second time this season, senior Austin Bussing was the men's top finisher, placing 22nd with a personal best 8K time of 24:22.5. The Houston, Texas native's finish marked a 26-place improvement from his finish in last year's meet and is the seventh top-25 finish of his career.
"As far as dealing with what happened as it happened, I'm relatively happy with how I did," said Bussing following the race. "I don't think (the team) really executed the race plan the way we had been talking about and I think that ended up really hurting us."
KU's No. 2 and No. 6 runners would end up being separated by just 12 seconds with juniors Zach Zarda (24:58.5) and Josh Baden (25:03.3), coming in at 43rd and 45th, respectively. The next to finish would be freshmen James Wilson (25:07.6) at 48th, Reid Buchanan (25:09.2) at 49th and sophomore Josh Munsch (25:10.2) crossing the finish line in 51st. Rounding at the men's scorers was freshman Evan Landes (25:50.4) placing 66th overall.
"I thought (the men) got a little too anxious early in the race," said KU Assistant Coach Michael Whittlesey. "I think that stung us about two miles into the race. Had we done what we should have done early on in the race, we'd be talking about a different situation right now."
Both teams will now switch gears to preparation for the NCAA Midwest Regional taking place in two weeks to DeKalb, Ill. If both teams can place high enough, they will then qualify for the NCAA Nationals on Nov. 21. Both the coaches and athletes know they can learn from the Big 12 meet and will need to apply it to the all-important Regional meet on Nov. 12.
"If we go out and run our rhythm and run our pace and we'll be fine at regionals," concluded Whittlesey. "We didn't have a great meet at Minnesota but we turned around and ran really well at Wisconsin. So we need to do the exact same thing and learn from our mistakes. If we go out and run as a pack and feel confident through the first few miles then we should be fine."
The NCAA Midwest Regionals will take place on Saturday, Nov. 12 with the men's 10K beginning at 12 p.m. and the women's 6K starting at 1:15 p.m. For live results and updates log on to kuathletics.com or follow on twitter at @KUGameday.