KU Cross Country to Kick Off 2012 with Bob Timmons Classic
Aug. 30, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. - The KU cross country teams will kick off the 2012 season at home on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 9 a.m., when the Jayhawks host the Bob Timmons Classic at Rim Rock Farm. The KU men will try to claim their 10th-straight team victory on their home course while the women will be going for their seventh win in eight Bob Timmons meets.
"The main goal for this meet is to get back into the swing of competing," said fourth-year assistant coach Michael Whittlesey. "They've been competing as individuals all summer long and now we need to get them back together running as a pack."
The meet will begin at 9 a.m., with the men's college and university 6K race. At 10 a.m., the women will hit the course to compete in the 5K race. The Jayhawks will welcome teams from Highland Community College, Oral Roberts and UMKC.
With some of the veteran runners possibly watching from the sidelines, the KU coaches will be looking to see who the leaders are among the underclassmen at the early point of the season.
"On the men's side the sophomore class did a great job this summer," explained Whittlesey. "They've really stepped up and put themselves in front right now and that not only bodes well for this season but for the future of the program as well."
With the loss of all-region runners Rebeka Stowe and Kara Windisch the KU coaches will now try and find who among the remaining athletes will take the reins of the women's squad. Ten letterwinners return to this year's 18-member roster, however it has been some underclassmen that have the coaches excited.
"On the women's side the sophomores have really stepped up, as well," continued Whittlesey. "We've had some people drastically change their position on the team in the last 12 months and that's exciting; to see people grab ahold of the responsibility for the success of the program and run with it."
Even though the Jayhawks will be sending some veterans through the course this weekend, the main focus, other than bringing home another meet title, is to take stock of the first-year talent that will be available in this year's squad. The Jayhawks bolster five newcomers on each of the men's team and six no the women's squad as well as nine redshirt freshmen (five men, four women) who hope to move up to the top of their respective teams and impress their coaches in the first meet of the season.
"It's still early for (the freshmen)," said Whittelsey. "They're all experiencing how much faster the base runs are and that's always a tough transition. I think they've been making the transition well though. Everyone's getting up excited about running in the morning and they seem really focused."
Complete results, along with a full recap of the event including video of athlete and coach reaction, will be available on kuathletics.com following completion of the races. Also follow on twitter at @KU_Track for live updates and results throughout the morning.
"A lot of people did a great job with training this summer," concluded Whittlesey. "This meet will be a great way to get the season rolling and get the athletes' competitive juices flowing."
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