Another season in the rear view


File Photo submitted Mike Gullett

The Lions begin the run during the Nov. 3, 2012, NCAA Division II Central Regional where they finished in second place overall, which propelled them to the NCAA Division II National Championships.

The fall cross country season came to an end for the men’s team as they placed 19th at the 2013 NCAA Division II National Championships in Spokane, Wash. on Nov. 23.

Junior Eric Schott and senior Jake Benton led the team, as they did most of the season, with Schott placing 69th with a time of 31:45.3 and Benton at 103rd with a time of 32:19.9. Junior Adrian Todd was close behind with a time of 32:38.8 at 131st place.

A 19th place finish was not the outcome the team was hoping for.

“We wanted to do no worse than we did last year (Top 8),” said sophomore Ryan Jackson. “It was a rough day for everyone on the team and it showed.”

Jackson, and juniors Colton Wooldridge, Andrew Webster, with freshmen Tyler Rush all finished under 35 minutes to help the team achieve 19th place and finally beat Central Missouri. At the MIAA Conference Championship and the Central Region Championships, Central Missouri had beat Southern by just one point.

“We knew we had the capability to beat them from the start so that never crossed our minds at the end of the race,” said Jackson. “It was overall a rough race for us and in the end the guys and myself were pretty disappointed with the outcome.”

For the women’s team their season ended after placing 12th at the Central Region Championships, but not for junior Dora Eastin. Eastin qualified individually for the National Championships after finishing fifth overall at regionals.

Eastin finished 102 overall out of the 244 runners at the National Championships with a time of 22:36.5 in the 6k.

While Eastin was not pleased with her performance, she plans to improve for the future.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to go and I still have a year to train and be prepared,” said Eastin. “Honestly, one of the best parts is the fact that God has given me another opportunity to do something that I love on a competitive level.”

The track and field teams began indoor season as they traveled to Central Missouri yesterday for competition.

Southern will be hosting the MSSU Invitational at the end of winter break on Jan. 10 and 11 at Leggett and Platt Athletic Center.