The Missouri Southern men and women cross-country teams competed in the MIAA Conference Championship meet Saturday, as Southern played host with the men winning handily and the women finishing third.
The Southern men won both the team and the individual titles as they finished with 35 points as a team. Sophomore Gidieon Kimutai repeated as the MIAA champion as he traversed the 8k course with a time of 23:37.3. This is the fourth straight race Kimutai has finished first, winning every event he has competed in this season.
Other Lion finishers in the race were senior Nickson Kiptoo finishing fifth with a time of 24:29.3, with junior Ryan Riddle coming in seventh with a time of 24:42.4. Senior Cody Berry finished eighth with a time of 24:45.3. Kimutai, Kiptoo, Riddle and Berry all finished with 1st-team All-MIAA honors for their performances at the meet.
The Lion men are currently ranked sixth in the country in Division II going into the Central Championship meet.
The Lion women finished third in the meet, finishing with 91 points behind Pittsburg State (78 points) and Central Missouri (84 points).
Sophomore Kelie Henderson was the first Lion across the finish line of the 6k course, finishing sixth with a time of 22:07.0. Junior Julianna Determan finished eighth at 22:14.3. Freshman Maegen Derfelt, sophomore Janna Hautala and junior Danielle Prince finished 23rd, 25th and 29th, respectively.
With both teams bringing home championship hardware, Coach Jamie Burnham also won some hardware. Burnham was named the MIAA Men’s Cross-Country Coach of the Year. This is the second-straight year Burnham has won this award, and the third time in the last four years.
“It’s an honor to be honored by your peers,” Burnham said in reference to his award. “Both teams are in a great place as we continue tapering the training down as we head through the championship season.”
Southern is in a unique position to compete on their home course in both the conference championship meet and now the regional championship next week. “We like running our ho
me course. They feel like it’s an advantage to be able to run on our own course and not have to travel to compete,” said Burnham.
Both the men and women cross-country squads will be back in action as Southern will host the NCAA Central Region Championship meet Nov. 9 at the Tom Rutledge cross-country Course.