Cross Country heads to Bolivar to open season Women ranked third in preseason polls, men first

The Missouri Southern Cross Country team is on full stride to begin the season this year. The Lions are ranked first in the MIAA men’s preseason poll.

ALL-MIAA performers Junior, Josh Webb, and Junior, Nickson Kiptoo lead the charge for the Lions, and could take the team to their sixth NCAA Div. II National Championship in the last seven years. Kiptoo also placed second in last season’s championship.

Junior, Cody Berry, who finished 109th in the division II cross country championship had this to say about the upcoming season:

“I think we can do something special with the guys returning this year, we have a couple of talented freshman coming in. We have around nine guys who could fight for the top seven positions on the team. I think we all can be in the top 25 in the conference.”

Last year the men’s cross country team fell flat at conference, placing third and hope to prove this year that they are better.

“We’re determined this year after having such a devastating race at conference last year, however, this year were still projected to take home the conference championship. We know nothing will be given to us, we will have to fight for it,” said Berry.

The women were ranked third in the MIAA women’s preseason poll. Last season the Lions finished fourth in the MIAA championship.

The Lions have two runners returning out of the four who were in the top 30 of last year’s MIAA cross country championship. Which are sophomore, Ashlee Kuykendall, and senior, Sarah Usher.

The men and women’s cross country teams have their first meet this Saturday in Bolivar, Missouri hosted by Southwest Baptist University.  The Lions also traveled to SBU last year to start the season and both teams finished first.

The first home meet will be the Missouri Southern Stampede at the Tom Rutledge Cross Country Course Saturday, September 15.