Women’s CC climbs national standings

Jordan Larimore

Not many teams get a shot to win four straight conference titles.

Tomorrow, the Missouri Southern women’s Cross Country team will try to do just that in the MIAA Conference Championship meet.

The women continued their success in their last meet two weeks ago, completing a sweep of the Missouri S&T meet, besting conference opponents Pittsburg State, Southwest Baptist and Truman State, as well as S&T, Southern Indiana, Northern Kentucky and Drury.

“The thing I was most impressed with this week was the fact that you could tell that they really showed a lot of character,” said head coach Patty Vavra. “You could tell that this week’s race was a little harder than past weeks.”

Although a first place finish, a sweep no less, tends to give the illusion that the team stood head-and-shoulders above the competition, Vavra says her Lions fought hard for all their success.

“From an outsider looking in, it looked like we were very dominant, which we were,” she said. “And at the same time, it wasn’t a walk in the park. To me that’s a real positive going into the next series of meets which are the ones we’ve trained for all year.”

The Lions are widely considered the favorite in the conference, carrying with them not only the no.1 rank in the MIAA but also the no. 3 spot in Division-II Cross Country nationally.

“This is a very focused group, a very grounded group, a very close-knit group,” she said. “And we have a group of seniors that would like to see their career end with another conference championship. There really hasn’t been a school since Southeast Missouri left the conference in I think it was 1991 or ’92, that’s won the conference championship four years in a row.”