Bonds Earns All-Big 12 Honors at Conference Championships
Nov. 1, 2008
AMES, Iowa – Lauren Bonds finished in 12th place, becoming the second women’s runner in Kansas history to earn All-Big 12 honors, as both the KU men’s and women’s cross country teams placed eighth at the 2008 Big 12 Cross Country Championships Saturday at the Iowa State Cross Country Course. The eighth-place women’s finish ties for the second-best Big 12 Championships performance in school history, behind a sixth-place finish by the women in 2002.
“We’re happy where both teams finished,” Kansas head coach Stanley Redwine said. “I still feel that our goal is to continue and strive and get better if we’re going to be competitive in this conference. Eighth is better than ninth, but it’s not as good as first.”
Bonds crossed the finish line in a time of 21:31, her second-best 6K run of the season. The junior from Hutchinson, Kan., earned her first career All-Big 12 honor while finishing in the top 15 for the fourth time this year. The top 15 individual finishers at the Big 12 meet get all-conference. Bonds joins Laura Lavoie (2002) as the only two Kansas women’s All-Big 12 runners. Bonds has now led the Jayhawks in all five meets this season.
“I’m really excited about it,” Bonds said of her performance. “That was kind of my goal going in so I’m really happy I was able to do it.”
“Lauren Bonds had a great meet for herself,” Redwine said. “To be all-conference in a conference like this is always good.”
Donny Wasinger was the top finisher for the KU men for the third time this season. The freshman from Winona, Minn., placed 28th in his first Big 12 Championships appearance in a time of 25:17.63, his second-best career 8K time.
“I felt pretty good about the race,” Wasinger said. “To go out and have a good freshman year thus far, I’m pretty happy about it. I’m looking forward to Regionals. In this race I was shooting for top 30, so that was good to get.”
Following Bonds for the Jayhawk women was Amanda Miller. The sophomore from Overland Park, Kan., finished in 38th place with a time of 22:17.35.
Kara Windisch was next for the Kansas women. The freshman from Overland Park, Kan., ran a time of 22:25.20 to finish in 41st place. Junior Alison Knoll placed 55th for the Jayhawks, running 22:49.95. Senior Megan James finished 57th with a time of 22:52.70, junior Kellie Schneider placed 70th with a time of 23:18.05, and freshman Rebeka Stowe rounded out the KU women’s scoring with a time of 23:44.60 to finish 78th.
“This race definitely gives us confidence,” Bonds said. “If you can run with the Big 12, one of the toughest conferences in the country, teams typically do better at Regionals than they do at conference. Everyone moves up a few places. We’re hoping that everything goes like it did last year, and hopefully we do a little better. I think we’re ready.”
Bret Imgrund was the second Kansas men’s runner to cross the finish line Saturday. The junior from Shawnee, Kan., placed 38th in a season-best time of 25:30.98. Imgrund was followed by sophomore Nick Caprario in 40th place. The Kearney, Neb, product ran a time of 25:32.58, a season-best time and the second-best time of his career.
Dan Van Orsdel also ran a season-best time for the Jayhawks, finishing in 25:58.38. The sophomore from Minnetonka, Minn., placed 50th for KU. Junior Isaiah Shirlen finished in 52nd place with a time of 26:04.68, senior Brock Ternes placed 55th in a time of 26:09.53, and freshman Zach Zarda completed the Jayhawk men’s scoring with a time of 26:15.08, good for 58th place.
“Our team did a good job, not a great job,” Redwine said. “There are areas that we can continue to get better. We just have to continue to work.”
Texas Tech won the Big 12 women’s title, while Oklahoma State walked away with the men’s championship. Texas Tech women’s senior Sally Kipyego became the first runner in Big 12 history, men’s or women’s, to win three consecutive Big 12 individual championships. Oklahoma State freshman German Fernandez won the men’s individual title.
“I think looking the quality of the conference, going down the line looking at each team and their rankings in the regions and in the nation, it’s a strong conference,” Redwine said. “As it relates to going into Regionals, we have raced the best people, so we have to continue to step up and continue to train to compete.”
It was perfect weather for cross country, as the temperature was 60 degrees with sunny skies and a slight breeze.
Kansas returns to action in two weeks, at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship. The meet will be held Nov. 15 at the Oklahoma State University Cross Country Course in Stillwater, Okla.
“The teams that aren’t in our conference that will be at our Regional meet are going to try to do well in addition to those that are in our conference,” Redwine said. “So we just have to do our job. If we do our job, our chances are better to advance to the NCAA Championships.”