Saturday, August 12, 2006

With top five back, men’s goals high


For more than 50 years, Al Frame was the only Kansas University cross country runner to win back-to-back conference championships - in 1954 and 1955. Benson Chesang added his name to that list last year.

Chesang won his second consecutive Big 12 Conference championship and garnered another All-Big 12 team selection.

But Chesang wasn't the only KU runner to receive all-conference recognition, as Colby Wissel and Paul Hefferon finished tenth and thirteenth, respectively, to make the 15-man list.

On the strength of the trio of all-conference runners, the men's team finished in third overall - its best finish since the inception of the Big 12.

Expectations will be high for the men beyond the 2006 conference season. They will aim to improve on their 12th-place finish at the NCAA Championships, KU's best since a 10th-place finish in 1989.

Again, All-American Chesang led the way, placing 39th. All of Kansas' top five finishers return for the 2006 season with Wissel, Hefferon, Erik Sloan and Tyler Kelly teaming up with Chesang.

The women's cross country team has begun to make a little noise of its own in the Big 12. The Jayhawks improved on their 10th place finish at the conference championship in 2004 with an eighth-place finish in 2005.

The squad was led by Ottawa native Lisa Morrisey, who finished 39th overall with teammates Laura Major and Dena Seibel finishing within five seconds of Morrisey.

Though the women weren't represented in the 2005 NCAA Championships, they improved five positions from their sixteenth place finish at the Midwest Regionals in 2004.


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