The Missouri Southern men’s cross country team got first place while the women finished third as Southern hosted the 30th annual Southern Stampede on Saturday at the Tom Rutledge Cross Country Course on campus.
“This is a huge meet. Having the crowd on your back with so many fans here supporting you. It was a big motivation booster to do well,” sophomore Ryan Riddle said after his race.
On the men’s side, sophomore Gidieon Kimutai led the way with a first place nish winning the 8k race with a time of 24:04.02. Kimutai finished 17 seconds in front of the second place finisher. Other Lion scorers in the meet were senior Nickson Kiptoo finishing 10th with a time of 25:05.33, Riddle finishing 11th with a time of 25:09.49 and senior Cody Berry finishing 12th with a time of 25:09.81.
Prior to the Stampede, the Lion men were ranked sixth nationally in Division II, and ended up winning the team title comfortably, finishing with 55 points, 15 points ahead of second place finishing Northwest Missouri State.
This is the Lion’s second first place win as a team as they won the Southwest Baptist Invite on Sept. 7.
Other Lion men finishers were junior Jared Ozee (25th), sophomore Kevin Koester (35th), senior Josh Webb (39th) and senior Michael Shanahan (56th).
On the women’s side, the Lions nished third with 106 points, only six points behind the first place finishing Missouri State.
Junior Julianna Determan placed fourth in
the race and was the first Lion to cross the finish line with a time of 17:34.6. Junior Ashley Kuykendall finished seventh with a time of 17:44.3.
“This team is really strong and amazing. It’s really nice to kind of lead by example,” said Deter- man. “I love our course so much. It’s really exciting to see everybody else enjoying something that we get to enjoy every day.”
Other finishers in the women’s race were sophomore Kelie Henderson (12th), sophomore Alice Evans (50th), freshman Maegen Derfelt (51st), sophomore Janna Hautala (61st) and freshman Raye Moran (75th).
Even after a great performance by both squads, there are always ways to improve before the next contest.
“I’m going to stay focused on keeping everybody together and working up to getting faster keeping a positive attitude,” said Kuykendall.
“Our next meet isn’t for a few weeks, so we’ll have a long time to build up on our miles, and mental toughness is the biggest thing for me that I need to work on,” said Riddle.
Kimutai and Determan were also named MIAA Cross Country Athletes of the Week for their strong performances last weekend. That wasn’t the only award for Kimutai as he was also named Cross Country Division II National Runner of the Week.
This is the second time Kimutai has received the award for his cross country performances.
Both the men and women cross country teams will be back in action as both squads will travel to the Fayetteville, Arkansas on Oct. 5 to compete in the Chile Pepper Invite.