Cross country teams run at Arkansas Invite

Jeremy Thomas

Another year of Missouri Southern cross country has arrived as the Lions prepare for their first meet of the season.

Last year, the Lions just missed out on a conference title, as they finished No. 2 in the MIAA Championship meet. The team also placed 8 out of 15 teams at the NCAA Division-II South Central Regional meet last year.

“Our standards never change, this season we’re looking for a conference title, finish top-two in region, and finish eighth nationally,” Head Coach Tom Rutledge said.  

In the 2011 MIAA preseason coaches’ poll, Southern was picked to finish No. 2 behind Central Missouri this season.

The Lions are also ranked No. 6 in the region according to the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches’ Association preseason rankings. The Lions, along with four other MIAA teams, cracked the Top-10.

“As long as my runners do well on their homework, work hard in practices, and get stronger mentally and physically from each meet, I think we will have a really good season,” Rutledge said.

The Lions will have the pleasure of running on their home turf twice this season, as they host the Southern Stampede on Sept. 17.

Southern will also play host to the MIAA Championships on Oct. 22.

“I am really looking forward to watching my young guys develop,” Rutledge said. “An early indication looks like they will be good this season.”

Rutledge’s men will also be running in today’s Arkansas Invitational in Fayetteville.