Women first, men third in MIAA title race

Missouri Southern women’s cross country team took home the MIAA Cross Country Championship Saturday at Northwest Missouri State in Maryville. The Lions’ men took third place.

The women’s team had four in the top 20 and two in the top 10. 

The Lions earned a score of 78, taking first place six points in front of Southwest Baptist. This was the sixth time the Lions cross-country team earned the MIAA title.

“We knew that it was going to take that valiant effort on the part of each of our athletes and them coming together as a group,” said Head Coach Patty Vavra. 

“They were able to get both of those things done.” 

Juniors Kaitlyn Belisle, from Enid, Okla., and Rachel Schrader from Bolivar, Mo., led the group in fifth and sixth place, with All-MIAA status with times of 22:42.10 and 22:43.18 in the 6k course.  

Senior Marlee Tegenkamp, Lee’s Summit, Mo., followed with a 15th place time of 23:14.65 and sophomore Lauren Baehr, Owensville, Mo., finished in 17th place with a time of 23:22.81.

Cassy Kendrick, a sophomore from Ponca City, Okla., earned 35th place with a time of 23:53.88, freshman Addie Mengwasser, Chamois, Mo., followed with a time of 24:04.24 in 42nd place. 

Freshman Jet Hovis, Farmington, Mo., placed 61st and sophomore Kelsie Hutsell, Mountain Grove, Mo., placed 84th.

“Running without Emily Harris was difficult, but we really stepped up and worked together,” Kendrick said. “It was a very tough course, but we packed up, and ran as best as we could.”

The Lion men also earned a score of 78, but fierce competition placed them in third, just four points behind Southwest Baptist and 14 points behind Fort Hays State.

Sophomore Eric Schott, Cape Girardeau, Mo., led the group in third place with All-MIAA status with a time of 25:32.79 on the 8k course.  

Sophomore Adrian Todd, Springfield, Mo., followed with a seventh place time of 25:47.84 and earned All-MIAA status as well. 

Junior Jake Benton, Wentzville, Mo., placed ninth with a time of 25:50.75.

Andrew Webster, a sophomore from St. Peters, Mo., earned 21st place with a time of 26:16.30, Sophomore Colton Wooldridge, Farmington, Mo., followed with a time of 24:04.24 in 39th place. Freshman Ryan Jackso, Herculaneum, Mo., placed 43rd, and Junior Nick Niggermann, Potosi, Mo., placed 51st, followed by senior Sam Pogue, Springfield, in 65th place.

“You have to fail sometimes to succeed,” Head Coach Tom Rutledge said. “Success comes from experience, but all that comes from a bad experience. They were having a bad day, but they’ll be right back at it in no time.”

They’ll get that chance Nov. 3, when both men and women Lions will be back in action at home at the NCAA Division II Central Regional.