Yazmine Wright, was a star of the JK Gold Classic. The Gold Classic is that of Wichita State Annual home meeting of the men’s and women’s cross-country teams. Wright won first place in the women’s 5km with a time of 17: 34.10. Her time was also 39 seconds ahead of the second.
As a fifth year member of the program, she took on a greater leadership role than in the past. With this season’s team having fewer members than previous seasons, Wright hopes to help each member as much as she can.
“I feel a lot older than everyone else, but being a fifth year is also good because now I feel more capable of helping others,” Wright said.
Wright controlled a considerable lead throughout the race and eventually finished 13 seconds off the course record set last January by former Shocker Winny Koskei. Wright also extended a streak of seven consecutive Shockers by winning the individual title, joining Koskei and Rebekah Topham.
“It’s great,” said head coach Kirk Hunter. “Anyone who can do what Winny Koskei can do is a girl to watch nationwide. It’s really special what she’s done here and I’m really happy with the way she’s playing.
Wright said his run was a “confidence builder”.
“My trainer [Kirk Hunter] and I discussed that I would be running this race to see where I was in the season, ”said Wright. “I gave it my all and wasn’t expecting the win.”
It was Wright’s first college victory and not only did Hunter see his success but also the NCAA in naming Wright American Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week.
“I wasn’t expecting to host athlete of the week,” Wright said. “It was the first time that I received this title.
Due to COVID-19, Wright was granted an additional year of eligibility. Very few athletes have the opportunity to continue competing for a fifth season without taking a season off or wearing red shirts.
Wright sees this season as a sign of growth. Throughout the remainder of the 2021 season, Wright has many goals she hopes to achieve with her team.
Wright has been racing for five seasons, so she hopes to share her knowledge with others. One of her personal goals is to save more time in the women’s 5 km.
“My first mile was faster than I wanted, which made my second and third miles slower than I expected,” said Wright. “My goal is to be more conservative in my first mile so that I can be faster in the second and third miles.”
Wright graduated in biology and said that after graduating in the spring she hopes to spend the next two years in physiotherapy school and keep running.
“This year I have become a lot more passionate about racing and I hope to continue,” said Wright. “I want to run as long as possible. “
Wright and the Shockers will be back in action on Saturday as they travel to Lincoln, Nebraska for the Greeno / Dirksen Invitational.