Men finish second behind Division-I Tulsa

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Photos courtesy of Mike Gullett

Weather conditions made racing difficult last weekend for runners in the Southern Stampede, but the Lions pulled a second place finish from the mud.

Shelby Neubeck, Staff Writer

The Missouri Southern men’s cross country team earned a position as the highest scoring Division-II team at the Southern Stampede on Saturday.

The men’s team took second place out of 24 schools with a score of 72. The Lions placed behind Division-I’s University of Tulsa with 41 points.

Sophomore Eric Schott, from Cape Girardeau, Mo., was the highest placing Division-II runner in the event, earning a third-place finish on the 8k course with a time of 25:08.49. Schott’s overall performance earned him MIAA Cross Country Athlete of the Week this week.

Adrian Todd, a sophomore from Kickapoo, Mo., earned an 11th place time of 25:33.94 followed by junior Jake Benton, from Wentzville, Mo., in 14th place with a time of 25:43.49. Andrew Webster, sophomore from St. Peters, Mo., place 22nd, followed by sophomore Colton Wooldridge and freshman Ryan Jackson in 32nd and 34nd place. Freshman Nathan Henry, from DeSoto, Mo., placed 60th.

“We did good as a team. We were all pretty excited about it,” Todd said. “We’re really looking forward to nationals as a team and competing well out there. Hopefully by the end of the season we’ll have a few All-Americans. We were definitely more of a team at Southern Stampede than we were at the meet in Arkansas. We’ve definitely improved and we were more together this time around.”

The Lions conquered three other Division-II ranked opponents, No. 14 seeded Eastern New Mexico University, 16th ranked East Central University, and the 29th seeded  University of Alabama-Huntsville, earning the men a spot as the 12th ranked team nationally.

“It was a very successful meet. A lot of high schools and universities showed up. The conditions of the course and the four inches of rain challenged their mental and physical fortitude,” men’s Head Coach Tom Rutledge said. “It was tough; there was a tremendous amount of rain. Our guys did very well. Our pack time was better. We ran hard and ended up finishing second right behind Tulsa.”

After taking a week off on Sept. 29, the Lions will travel to Stillwater, Okla., for the Oklahoma State Jamboree.