Cross Country Lions off to fast start

Jordan Larimore

It may not have been first place, but the Missouri Southern Cross Country teams both have plenty to be proud of after their races with Arkansas University last week.

The Division-I powerhouse Razorbacks edged out both the men and women.

The women, however, were closer than the men, finishing only nine points behind. Carrying them were seniors Kimi Shank, Ashley Bunch and Courtney Waltbillig – coming in second, third and sixth respectively.

Shank and Bunch both considerably improved their times from last year; Shank dropped 13 seconds, while Bunch shaved a full 1:16 off her time.

Shank earned MIAA Runner of the week honors for her effort.

The men lacked the high-finishers the women had, but still made it close. Junior Isaac Garcia was the first Lion across the finish line with a time of 20:57.9 coming in 6th place. He and senior Dustin Dixon, who finished 7th, were competing in their first meet for the Lions since 2007. It was in the very same meet that Dixon broke his leg in the final stretch but managed to finish the race and even gain All-American status.

The women are finished until the annual Southern Stampede next week.