ISU struggles at Big 12 meet

Zac Reicks

The ISU men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at the Big 12 Championships in Boulder, Colo. this weekend with the women finishing sixth and the men finishing seventh.

Strong individual performances highlighted the meet for the Cyclones as Kelly Brinkman and Daniel Kinyua earned all-conference honors for the cardinal and gold.

Kinyua was back at full strength for the first time this season, and it was highly evident in his performance Saturday.

Near the leaders with only a mile and a half to go, the lack of training finally caught up to the senior leader, but he still managed to place seventh out of 101 runners covering the 8,000K course in a time of 25:21.

“I was finally able to run at close to 100 percent for the first time all season,” Kinyua said. “It was great to show what I can do when I am healthy.”

Head Coach Kevin Bourke was happy with Kinyua’s standout performance but disappointed with the rest of the team.”Tait Steines, Peter Hess and Mike Mwangong really didn’t run good races today,” Bourke said. “Mike is still battling his bronchitis, but I just can’t explain why Peter and Tait ran so poorly.”

“It was a great day for Daniel,” Bourke said. “I am so glad to see him do well after battling injuries all season.”

The women turned to sophomore Kelly Brinkman to lead the way again this meet.

Brinkman finished fourth out of 94 runners in a sparkling time of 20:44. She battled the leaders for almost the entire 6,000K of the grueling Colorado course and showed Head Coach Dick Lee just what her abilities were.

“It was really great being able to finish that high,” Brinkman said. “I had been training really hard and to be able to be all-conference was awesome.”

Even though the team finished sixth, Brinkman still thought that everyone ran well, and it just wasn’t the Cyclones’ day.

“All the girls on the team ran their hearts out, so we can’t be that disappointed,” Brinkman said. “The high altitude definitely made a difference in our performance on Saturday.”