Stampede a success

Jordan Larimore

After a good showing in the annual Southern Stampede, both Lions cross country squads are again making some noise.

Both programs moved up in the national polls this week as announced by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Wednesday.

The women climbed three slots from 11th to 8th after placing second at the Stampede last weekend. The Lions finished just 22 points behind Division I Arkansas and defeated three Division II nationally ranked opponents, as well as one NAIA ranked team.

The Southern men were just outside of the national rankings last week and moved back into the rankings at No. 21. The men placed fourth at the Stampede behind Arkansas and nationally ranked Pittsburg State and Southwest Baptist, but defeated both Drury and Harding who were both ranked at the time.

The Lions hosted the Stampede last Friday, with Arkansas taking the crown in both the men’s and women’s races.

Senior Kimi Shank finished third overall as the first Division-II runner across the finish line. Her final time was 17:36.65

The next Lion to finish was freshman Ashley Siler in fifth place, followed by senior Ashley Bunch in eighth, all leading Southern to beat three ranked teams in Division-II cross country.

The men inched closer to the first place finish they have been chasing all year. They finished fourth overall behind Arkansas, Pittsburg State and Southwest Baptist.

Yet again, sophomore Jarkko Jarvenpaa was the Lions’ top runner, finishing in 25th overall with a time of 24:50.88. Southern’s next men to finish the course were Brennan Benkert in 27th, Nick Niggeman in 30th, and Josh Mathis in 43rd overall.

Both the Lions men and women will be off until the Oct. 3 Oklahoma State Jamboree in Stillwater.