Coaches organize donation effort

Joplin will soon be the recipient of yet more relief after the town’s historic tornado in May 2011.

Last year, a group of Division-II cross country coaches formulated an idea at the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association Convention. 

The idea was that this year’s Division-II national championship meet, which Missouri Southern will host, represented a chance for the nation to continue helping Joplin, and Southern, recover.

“The coaches collectively got together and challenged all cross country teams in Division-II, which is over 200 something teams, to try to raise $600 per gender and the goal is to try to raise $150,000,” men’s Head Coach Tom Rutledge said. 

“Even Division-I [schools], like, Penn State sent $100. Other schools, people, just randomly have been sending us money to put in the account.”

The donations, when brought together and a total dollar amount is determined, will be split between the MSSU Foundation’s Tornado Relief Fund and the Joplin School District Fund.

“The tornado has hampered us here at Southern, to an extent, because we’re having to share our facilities and things like that,” Rutledge said. 

“But that’s a very nice gesture. That’s really going to be awesome. We’re going to try to make this one memorable championship.”