Sophomore Lauren Jaqua and junior Aaron Caldwell were named the Heart of America Athletic Conference runners of the week Monday.
Jaqua and Caldwell received the honor after the ’Cats swept the first 5k and 8k of the season at the Baker University Open Friday.
Jaqua got first place for the women in the 5k with a time of 18:46.04 and was followed by sophomore Ashley McBride, who placed second. With a time of 19:29.83, McBride set a new personal record for herself.
“It feels awesome,” McBride said. “Last year in Joplin, I got my (personal record) there, so I was hoping this year to crush that PR but this is just as good because it is a harder course and I still broke my PR, so I am really excited to see what I can do at our next meet.”
Baker Orange staff member Jenna Stanbrough was unable to finish the race due to an injured shin and sophomore Megan Rosa is also down with a pinched nerve in her foot.
Rosa will only be out for a couple weeks and her injury is not a season-ending one.
“It’s that time of the season with some bumps and bruises,” head coach Zach Kindler said.
Despite the injuries for the Wildcats, Kindler said the women running are still strong, but there just will not be as much depth on the team.
“We should still be really in a position to win conference again,” Kindler said.
The men’s team came away with a first-place finish at the Baker University Open as well.
To get a team score, a university must have five men that finish the race, however no teams but BU had enough men competing, allowing the Wildcats to get a perfect score.
“We have a tough course (in Baldwin City), and I think our times were slower than they would’ve been at Joplin,” senior Justin Hill said. “However, if you look at the difficulty of our course, I think our times are really good.”
Caldwell finished second place in the men’s 8k race with a time of 26:49.5, and was followed by junior Taylor Nall who placed fourth at 27:03.43. Senior Chris Scheideman came in seventh place and junior Corey Clark in eighth with times of 27:25.82 and 27:26.70, respectively.
The cross country teams will compete in their first meet outside of Baldwin City when they run at the Emporia State University Invitational Friday in Emporia.
“With the teams that we have and the way that we’re training, the idea is we’re trying to go down top three on both sides (at Emporia) and if we can do that, that’s very exciting,” Kindler said.