Lady Toppers finish 11th at NCAA cross country regionals

Sam Osborne

The WKU cross country team put together a sold performance Saturday at the NCAA Southeast Regional at Louisville’s E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park, with four runners finishing as all-region qualifiers.

Three Lady Toppers finished in the top 50, with junior Marion Kandie’s 11th-place finish leading the way. Kandie, who recorded her second-straight top-25 regional finish, clocked a time of 20:50.23 on the six-meter course. Junior Vasity Chemweno was also a top-25 finisher, turning in a time of 21:08.1 for 24th place.

Overall, the Lady Toppers placed 11th in team scoring. Virginia and North Carolina placed first and second to take the automatic bids to the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind.

“The women did an outstanding job today,” head coach Erik Jenkins said. “They came out and were able to compete against some tough competition.”

On the men’s side, the Toppers placed two runners in the top-25. Freshman Shadrack Kipchirchir ran 9th, finishing the 10,000 meter course in 30:30.0. Junior Deus Rwaheru placed 14th, navigating the course in 30:52.7.

“I think I did well,” Kipchirchir said. “Especially with the course being much longer.”

The men finished 22nd overall in the team standings. William and Mary and Duke finished first and second, respectively, on the men’s side and took the automatic bids to the NCAA championships.

WKU will have to wait until Sunday to see if they will have any qualifiers for the NCAA Championships. The NCAA will notify all schools of the at-large qualifiers by 6:00 p.m. CT.