On the women's side, freshman Ajok Deng of William Jewell looks to be the frontrunner, having clocked a season personal best of 18:23. The top returner from last year's conference meet is Evangel's Kristen Ostrem. Ostrem placed second at last year's HAAC meet, right ahead of Jess Connery of William Jewell. William Jewell has been ranked in the top two all season and are currently ranked first in the HAAC. Start time for the women's race is tentatively scheduled for 11 a.m.
The team that has been battling for the top spot this season has been Baker University. With their depth, the Wildcats have placed four or five of their top girls near the top throughout the fall season. Freshman Lauren Jaqua, who has a season best of 18:45, leads Baker. Megan Rosa, another top freshman, has steadily improved and made her name known throughout the conference. Baker has been unable to defeat William Jewell this year on Baker’s home course or at Emporia State.
For the men's HAAC, Graceland, ranked 15th nationally, appears to have the top two competitors in Yonas Gebretinais, who has been clocked at 24:11, and Neil Grundman, who won the HAAC cross country championship last year. With these two runners pushing the pace, Graceland hopes to bring home a team title along with an individual one. William Jewell and Baker, who have rounded out the top 3 in the conference rankings throughout the season, hope to challenge the Yellowjackets. Other top runners who hope to be booking a trip to nationals are Adam McGovern (Avila), Chris Scheidemen (Baker), Corey Clark (Baker) and Ahmed Khalif (Graceland). Start time for the men is tentatively scheduled for 11:40 a.m.
Like the women, Baker has improved during the season. The Wildcats split with William Jewell during the regular season, winning at home but losing at Emporia.
The event will be held at the Baldwin City Golf Course located at 1500 South Street, Baldwin City, Kan. Click here to view an interactive a map