The Missouri Southern men’s and women’s cross country teams participated in the 2019 NCAA Central Region Championships hosted by Southern at the Tom Rutledge Cross Country Course Saturday.
The Lion men finished in first place as a team as well as sophomore Gidieon Kimutai taking home the individual title in the 10k race. Southern is currently ranked No. 6 in the country in Division II and qualified for the 2019 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships that will be held in Sacramento, California Nov. 23.
The men won the meet with a total of 52 points, which is the lowest amount of points scored in program history. Southern beat out second-place Northwest Missouri by 12 points to claim the victory.
Kimutai was the individual champion, making him the winner of each of the five races he has competed in this season. He finished the 10k race with a time of 29:14.5, nearly 24-seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
Senior Nickson Kiptoo finished the race in eighth place with a time of 30:35.5, while sophomore Ryan Riddle finished just behind in 10th place with a time of 30:48.3. Senior Cody Berry finished 13th after crossing the finish line with a time of 30:54.7.
Sophomore Jarod Ozee, junior Kevin Koester and junior Josh Webb finished 20th, 51st and 85th, respectively.
Kimutai, Kiptoo, Riddle, Berry and Ozee were named All-Region for their efforts in the championship meet.
The Lion women finished their season with an eighth-place finish in the Central Region Championships, with a total of 256 points as a team.
Sophomore Kelie Henderson was the first Lion to traverse the 6k course with an 18th place finish with a time of 21:57.1. Sophomore Julianna Determan finished 25th with a time of 22:12.3. Both Henderson and Determan earned All-Region honors.
The Lion men will be back in action on November 25 as they travel to Sacramento, California to compete in the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships.