STILLWATER, OKLA. Kansas University's men's and women's cross country teams finished fourth and fifth, respectively, Saturday in the NCAA Midwest Regional.
KU freshman Benson Chesang placed second in the men's 10k race in 30:41 and qualified for the NCAA championships. The final team and individual qualifiers will be announced Monday.
Oklahoma State won the men's race with 78 points, followed by Minnesota (89), Iowa (129) and Kansas (136). Nebraska won the women's race with 60 points, Missouri was second with 63 and Kansas fifth with 171. The regional finishes were the best for KU since 1994.
"We haven't placed this high since I have been here, so I am very excited," KU coach Stanley Redwine said. "Both teams ran well, and we will just have to wait and see if we are selected for an at-large championship berth.
"I felt that both of the teams gave a strong effort, and hopefully it will be something we continue in the future," Redwine said. "It was very good to see our administration, family and friends supporting us at the meet."
KU junior Chris Jones placed 11th in 31:28, and sophomore Cameron Schwehr was 19th in a 31:43. Sophomore Erik Sloan finished 51st in 32:38.
The KU women were led by senior Laura Lavoie, who finished 10th in 21:39. Junior Megan Manthe was 17th in 22:02, and senior Lauren Brownrigg finished 39th in 22:42.
The NCAA meet will be Nov. 24 at Cedar Falls, Iowa. Chesang is familiar with the 8k course, having run there at the Pre-Nationals Invitational Oct. 18, finishing 19th in a time of 24:03.