By Sean Ditmore/ Staff Writer
Quietly, Wayland’s men’s and women’s cross-country teams have been ascending in the NAIA national rankings. Their performances at last Saturday’s Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater should do nothing to reverse this trend.
Both teams turned in impressive 6th place finishes, and several runners on each team achieved impressive individual results.
The women’s team, who came into the event ranked 25th nationally, placed well despite competing against larger NCAA opponents. Led by Freshman Caroline Karunde, who finished 3rd and sported a time of 17:46, the Pioneers out-paced the likes of TCU, University of Texas at Arlington and Texas State.
Senior Kristen Raines, who finished 34th with a time of 19:26, was very positive about the team’s performance.
“I’m really excited, especially because of the way we competed against the larger schools,” Raines said.
Also running for the WBU women were: Kydia Echols (59th — 19:58), Rosa Galvan (64th — 20:04), Erin Britton (69th — 20:10), Elva Pedroza (72nd — 20:14) and Karley Trammell (115th — 22:19).
Junior Timmy McCune led the way for the men’s side, as he finished in 16th place with a time of 25:56.1.
Sophomores Kirby Dunn (21st — 26:37) and Adam Henthorn (22nd — 26:37) also finished in the top 25.
The men’s side, which was voted 26th in the last poll, hopes this performance will bump them into the top 25 national rankings.
WBU Coach Brian Whitlock is confident both teams will reap the rewards of their efforts.
“Overall, I was pleased with the way we ran,” Whitlock said. “I think both teams ran well enough to move up in the rankings.”