LAWRENCE — The Fort Hays State women's cross country team posted a strong finish in its first six-kilometer race of the season Saturday, placing fourth at the Rim Rock Farm Collegiate Classic. The Tigers were tops among Division II competition, defeating three other MIAA teams in attendance.
Fort Hays State compiled 169 points in the team competition, 10 points better than the next Division II team, Truman. Host University of Kansas took first with just 26 points.
Yessenia Gonzales finished ninth in the 149-runner field, defeating numerous Division I athletes in the process. The senior crossed the line in a personal-best 22:11.0, seven seconds better than her previous best. Freshman Abigail Stewart continues to impress in her first season as a Tiger, finishing 25th overall and fourth among DII competition with a time of 23:00.6.
Averi Wilson and Grace Buessing finished in a dead heat at 23:40.8, placing 45th and 46th, respectively. Tessa Durnell rounded out the team scoring after traversing the course in 24:12.4, finishing 57th.
The Tigers will have two weeks to prepare for their next competition, the seventh annual FHSU Tiger Open. The first of four races is set to begin at 9 a.m. at Sand Plum Nature Trail in Victoria on Saturday, October 13.