Men best PSU in Wednesday’s dual meet


Willie Brown

The men’s cross country team runs in a pack at the beginning of Wednesday’s dual meet held on Southern’s cross country course. The Lions beat PSU.

With non-stop rain and spotty lightning the Missouri Southern Stampede, which has never been canceled before, had to be called off.

The cross country course was drenched with rain, and the weather never let up to even start the races. “I was greatly disappointed that I had to call the meet off, I know all the coaches and runners were frustrated and felt helpless that they couldn’t compete,” Head coach Tom Rutledge said.  

An interesting fact mentioned by Rutledge was that workers and timers were able to evacuate the course in just under 15 minutes a course that had 6-7,000 people on it at the time.

“The safety of the athletes is the most important thing to us. As long as there was lighting in the area we had to postpone the meet,” Rutledge said.

“We just couldn’t run the meet no matter how hard we tried, Mother Nature just got the better of us that day. I prayed for rain the whole week, just wanted it to stop on Friday,” Rutledge said.

“I was so eager and pumped to run, but the rain had me optimistic about the meet even getting to start any race,” sophomore Jake Benton.

Since the Lions would have had a long break between the stampede and the Oklahoma State Jamboree, they were able to fit in a dual meet with rival Pittsburg State University on Wednesday on the cross country course at Southern.  The Lions turned in a good showing at their home meet, as they beat Pitt State in the dual meet which was an 8k.

Three of the top five finishers were Lions, and all three runners were underclassmen.

Freshman Eric Schott led the way for the Lions as he would finish in second at 24:28.30. Sophomore Jake Benton placed third as he finished in a time of 24:54.30. Freshmen teammate Andrew Webster rounded out the team’s top three finishers as he would finish in fourth in a time of 24:55.80.

“I personally see that this team has a lot of potential. We are starting to pack in tighter and run as a team,” Benton said, “This team is honestly the closest team I have ever been on. I wouldn’t be surprised if this team gets to Spokane, Wash. where Nationals is this year.”