WKU men, women cross country fare well in weekend meets

Mercedes Trent

WKU tied for 17th in Pre-Nationals Sunday in Terre Haute, Ind., the Toppers’ final meet before the Sun Belt Conference Championships.

Head Coach emeritus Curtiss Long said the team was satisfied with its top half finish, though the Toppers had a few factors working against them.

WKU had to battle rain and fatigue from a “strenuous” workout Wednesday.

“I thought overall the team was a little bit flat but we had pretty good performances when you equate for the weather and the terrain,” Long said. “I thought we were a little tired going into the meet. 

“The workout Wednesday was probably a little too strenuous for the competitive meet. I was satisfied overall but that’s obviously not where you want to be.”

Senior Deus Rwaheru led the Toppers with a 26th place finish. Rwaheru ran amongst the top-ten individuals for much of the race. Freshman Peter Okwera was just behind his teammate, placing 32nd. Long said this was Okwera’s “best race of the year.”

Colorado won the Pre-Nationals meet. 

Long said that the race gave WKU’s freshmen a chance to experience running at the national level, and gave the team a chance to develop its position and practice maintaining it throughout the race. 

“We got ourselves out into excellent position, one of our major objectives,” Long said. “In a couple of circumstances we were not able to hold that but in future races…we will finish much more successfully.” 

Meanwhile the Lady Toppers took fifth in the Crimson Classic Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala. 

Senior Marion Kandie claimed fifth place, with senior Michelle Finn following in sixth. WKU was the only school in the 25-team field to score in the top-ten among individual finishers. Junior Vasity Chemweno’s No. 11 finish gave the Lady Toppers three scorers across the line before any other school’s second place finisher. 

The teams will be together again Oct. 29 to host the Sun Belt Conference Championships at Kereiakes Park.