Archive for Saturday, October 27, 2001

Kansas hopes to improve

October 27, 2001


Kansas University's men haven't won a conference cross country title since 1969 and that streak won't end today.

The Jayhawks, however, have a chance to improve on last year's sixth place finish in the Big 12 Conference championships.

Today's 8K men's race will begin at 10 a.m. on the Oklahoma University golf course in Norman. The women's 6K is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Seniors Brent Behrens, Brian Blachly and Pete Prince have been KU's most consistent performers. Seniors Charlie Gruber and Mark Menefee returned from injuries two weeks ago in Arkansas, but Gruber is ailing again.

"He's a great runner and a great competitor," KU coach Stanley Redwine said of Gruber, "but he has back spasms, so we don't know."

Gruber is the Jayhawks' lone NCAA qualifier from a year ago when he finished 14th at the league meet in Boulder, Colo. Later, Gruber finished fourth in the regional and 61st in the NCAA championships.

Another top performer has been freshman Chris Jones.

Redwine would love for his men's team to post a higher finish than sixth, but he's realistic.

"It's up to our athletes," he said. "We've been running tight as a pack and that's what we're expecting Saturday."

The Kansas women finished 11th in the league meet last year and are hoping to climb a notch or two. Sophomore Laura Lavoie and junior Katy Eisenmenger have been the Jayhawks' steadiest performers.

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