JOPLIN -- Paced by a strong performance from its top three runners, the Missouri Southern men's cross country team placed 8th today at the 2012 NCAA Division II National Championships held at the MSSU Cross Country Course.
Sophomores Eric Schott and Andrew Webster placed 44th and 47th and completed the 10k course in times of 30:33.3 and 30:39.0, while sophomore Adrian Todd was 49th in a time of 30:39.4.
Junior Jake Benton placed 105th in a time of 31:33.9, while freshman Ryan Jackson was 121st with a time of 31:43.0. Sophomore Colton Wooldridge was 177th in a time of 32:24.5, while junior Nick Niggemann finished the course in a time of 33:39.3.
Adams State dominated the field to win the team title with 34 points. Colorado Mines placed second with 102 points, while Alaska-Anchorage was third with 148 points. Augustana (182) and Cal State Chico (183) rounded out the top five teams.
The Lions defeated six different teams that were ranked in front of them coming into the event.
The Lions were back at the National Championships for the fifth time in the last seven years.
The Missouri Southern women's cross country team placed 20th today at the 2012 NCAA Division II National Championships hosted by Southern at the MSSU Cross Country Course.
The Lions were 21st at the split and improved to 20th when the final results came in, led by junior Rachel Schrader as she placed 66th in the 6k race with a time of 21:48.1. Senior Marlee Tegenkamp was 91st with a time of 22:09.9, while junior Kaitlyn Belisle finished 126th in a time of 22:36.5. Addie Mengwasser was 146th in a time of 22:44.3, while Lauren Baehr was 160th in a time of 22:50.0. Cassy Kendrick and Jet Hovis finished in times 23:17.6 and 24:08.2.
Grand Valley State won the national championship with a total of 101 team points, just three points ahead of last year's champion Augustana which finished with 104. Adams State (109) was third, followed by Western State (172) and Cal State Chico (200) to round out the top five.
The Lions competed in the national meet for fifth time in the last six years. It was the fourth time in the last six years that both the men's and women's teams had qualified for nationals.