Sept. 3, 2011
TULSA, Okla. -- After two weeks of training, the Missouri State cross country team was finally able to hit the course for competition. The Bears turned in a solid performance in their season-opening meet Saturday, finishing 3-2 in the dual-meet format at the Hurricane Festival in Tulsa, Okla.
“Our finish as a team is what I hoped for,” head cross country coach Alec Musukuma said. “It was a good meet to gauge where we’re at and now we can go back to the drawing board to see what we can do differently.”
Junior Emily Beaver, Missouri State’s top individual, placed eighth overall with a time of 11:27 in the 2-mile race at Mohawk Park. Senior Terry Phillips followed closely behind, crossing the finish line at 11:35 for 11th place. Participating in her first collegiate meet, freshman Emma Burditt logged a time of 11:56 and finished 18th overall. Also placing in the top 30 were sophomore Lisa Imgrund (12:35) and junior Ashton Stubbs (12:38), who finished 24th and 28th, respectively.
The Bears had a strong showing against the five teams in dual competition, finishing 3-2 for the day. MSU defeated Oklahoma (18-41), Oklahoma Wesleyan (15-48) and Arkansas Fort Smith (15-48). The Bears’ two losses came to Oklahoma State (16-45) and host Tulsa (18-40).
Missouri State will have a weekend off before traveling down the road to Joplin for the Missouri Southern Stampede on Sept. 17.
“We haven’t had much time to practice together, but for the Joplin meet, we’ll have been practicing for almost a month,” Musukuma said. “I’m hoping by then we will be able to improve our overall efforts.”
Notes: Heading into the weekend, the women were ranked 14th in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Association’s (USTFCCCA) preseason regional rankings released on Aug. 29. Ranked ahead of the Bears in the Midwest Region were Missouri Valley Conference schools Wichita State (ninth) and Illinois State (11th) in addition to Hurricane Festival participants Oklahoma State (second) and Tulsa (fifth).