Cross Country teams with solid opening weekends

Alexus Richardson

The WKU cross country program has made solid showings in its first meets of the regular season.

The men’s team brought home a fifth-place finish on Sept. 5 in Nashville at the Belmont Opener, and the women’s opened their season with a second-place finish at the Forest Park Cross Country Festival last weekend in St. Louis.

The Hilltoppers have already had one athlete earn Conference USA honors: junior Endalow Takele of Bam, Israel.  He was named C-USA Cross Country Co-Athlete of the Week after the Belmont trip.

The women’s team has also been performing well with five Lady Toppers placing in the Top 25 in St. Louis. 

According to Head Coach Erik Jenkins, both teams are entering a very good conference with multiple teams ranked in the region’s preseason top 10. 

In St. Louis, senior Katie Lever earned a fourth-place finish with a time of 18:31.  

Senior Lindsey Hinken made a strong return to competition last weekend after taking a medical redshirt last season. 

In St. Louis, she placed eighth with a time of 18:45.

The Hilltoppers ran the 5,000-meter in Nashville, where Takele ran a time of 15:15 to finish first.

Jenkins said he is very excited with what he has seen out of Takele, who shared his C-USA Cross Country Co-Athlete of the Week award with senior Dusan Makevic from the University of Texas at San Antonio two weeks ago.

The men will be returning to Nashville this weekend for the Commodore Classic at Percy Warner Park.

“We want to have a good showing throughout the year as we compete against some pretty competitive teams,” Jenkins said.