October is an important month for men’s and women’s cross country. After a solid performance at the Rim Rock Classic the first weekend of the month, both teams look forward to Pre-Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky and the WAC Championship run on Halloween.
At Rim Rock, a few more individuals set personal records, including Brooke Guirot. Guirot was the top female finisher for the Kangaroos, who did not run all of their aces. Getting a view of Rim Rock was important for the Kangaroos, who will run their Regionals on that course come November.
Assistant Coach Brett Guemmer spoke about getting athletes a chance to compete on the Rim Rock course, especially men who run both track and cross country.
“The men’s team at Rim Rock wasn’t really our A squad,”Guemmer said. “We took out some kids who are 800, 400 hurdlers who run cross country. And they really went out there and put in a good race. Just give them a chance to compete in the fall.”
“The men’s team went out there,” Guemmer said. “They saw the course, and that’s something. We’re gonna run out there for Regionals. So it was good for them to see the course and a couple teams that were competing.”
Guemmer, a former UMKC runner, explained the format for the upcoming races and knows the men are ready for the next step.
“The guys’ team that’s going down there for Pre-Nats is ready to roll,” Guemmer said. The Pre-Nationals event runs on the same course as the National Championship, but at a different distance. “Pre-Nationals is still only an 8K. So it runs the same course as the national meet but it leaves off a 2K loop, essentially,” Guemmer explained. “10K is really only Regionals and Nationals. Most of our races are 8Ks.”
The women also held some performers out of the Rim Rock Classic, but were still pleased that Brooke Guirot set a personal record.
“We raced a few. Brooke had a huge pr…Taylor [Winick], this was her first 6K and she ran unattached. It was a pr whether she liked it or not,” Guemmer said jokingly. “So we really were looking to see where Brooke would fall on a 6K. We gave her a shot and she ran really well.”
Transitioning the pace from a 6 to 5K run is an adjustment the women must make. The Rim Rock Classic and Pre-Nationals are 6K races, but the Western Athletic Conference championship race is not.
“Actually, our conference meet is a 5K, which is a little different for me” said Guemmer, who ran for the Roos in the Summit League. “When I was running through the Summit League the women did 6Ks for conference, and it was pretty much 6ks for the last four or five meets of the season. So this is kind of a step down for us. Going 6K, 6K, and then another 6K and a 5K and back up to a 6K. But either way we’re ready to roll.”
Hannah Miller and Taylor Winick, both Nursing majors, are happy with their performances so far.
“It was good. It was the first 6K of my college career,” Winick said. “A little bit different than what I’m used to but a good start.”