Missouri State Set to Host Cross Country Midwest Regional


Nov. 6, 2012

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Midwest Regional Information

Missouri State will host the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Midwest Regional on Friday (Nov. 9) at the MSU Cross Country Course in Springfield, Mo. The day's events will begin at noon with the women's 6K championship race, and will continue at 1:15 p.m. with the men's 10K championship race. The 2012 Regional will feature 30 men's teams, 35 women's teams and a total of 604 student-athletes who will attempt to advance to nationals. The top two teams in each race and the top four individuals in each race not on an advancing team will automatically move on to the next round.

Results, quotes and photos will be posted to the official meet site at MissouriStateBears.com/ncaacrosscountry after both races have been certified.

Men's Preview
The men's 10K race will feature 30 teams, including four nationally ranked squads from the coaches' poll. The list is headlined by No. 1 Oklahoma State, which has won six of the last seven Midwest Regionals. The Cowboys won their fifth-straight Big 12 title this year by holding off Texas and Oklahoma. They also boast the 2011 team championship and top-two returning finishers from the 2011 Midwest Regional in juniors Shadrack Kipchirchir and Tom Farrell.

Oklahoma State is joined on the national rankings by the Oklahoma Sooners, who placed third in the Big 12 championship. Led by seniors Bill Kogel and Kevin Williams, the Sooners finished behind Oklahoma State by only three points at the 2011 Regional. The Sooners won the Midwest Regional in 2010.

Meanwhile, Conference USA member Tulsa is ranked 19th in the country. The Golden Hurricane claimed their third-straight conference championship and were paced by junior Chris O'Hare's second-place finish. Tulsa seniors Paulo Pinheiro and Andrew Heyes finished 16th and 26th at last year's regional, respectively, while as a team, Tulsa finished third.

The list of nationally ranked squads is rounded out by No. 29 Kansas from the Big 12. The Jayhawks claimed fourth place at the Big 12 Championships and were led by sophomore Evan Landes, who helped his squad to an eighth-place finish at the 2011 Regional.

Women's Preview
Thirty-five women's teams will compete in the 6K championship race, three of which are ranked in the most recent coaches' poll. Second-ranked Iowa State seeks its third-straight women's championship. The Cyclones won their second consecutive Big 12 championship and were led in the race by seniors Betsy Saina and Meaghan Nelson. Saina and Nelson are contenders to take the individual championship, as they finished second and fourth, respectively, in last year's Regional.

Oklahoma State, ranked 21st in the country, returns a strong class of competitors to the 2012 race. The Cowgirls finished in second place behind Iowa State at the Big 12 Championships. Oklahoma State also was the runner-up to Iowa State in last year's Midwest Regional. Junior Natalja Piliusina led all Cowgirls runners at the 2011 Regional with a ninth-place finish, and figures to be a competitor for the crown this year. Meanwhile, sophomore Monika Juodeskaite paced Oklahoma State at the Big 12 Championships race with a fourth-place finish, and placed 25th at the 2011 Regional. The Cowgirls seek their first Midwest Regional title since 2005.

Finally, Minnesota is ranked 28th in the country and is coming off a fourth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships in East Lansing, Mich. The Gophers were paced by junior Laura Docherty's ninth-place finish at the conference meet. Junior Ashlie Decker is Minnesota's highest-placing returning runner from last year's Regional, as she crossed the 6K finish line in 12th place. The Gophers won three-straight regional titles from 2007 to 2009.

Missouri State at the 2011 Midwest Regional
The Missouri State cross country team concluded its season with the 2011 NCAA Midwest Regional Championships in Dekalb, Ill. In a 28-team field with stiff competition, the cross country Bears finished 25th overall.

Erin Edwards was Missouri State's top finisher, cracking the 23-minute plateau in the 6K race at the NIU North 40 Course. Edwards' time of 22:55.57 landed her in the top-100 as she placed 88th overall. The Kansas City, Mo. native was the third Bear to take home top-team honors.

Missouri State's other top-100 finisher was Emily Beaver, who recorded a time of 23:06.30 and finished 100th.

The 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Championships
The Southern Illinois men's team claimed victory at the 2012 MVC Cross Country Championships in Normal, Ill. The Salukis finished with an average time of 24:41, two seconds better than the Indiana State Sycamores.

Illinois State won the women's championship with an average time of 17:48 and finished ahead of Wichita State. Shockers senior Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton was the top individual finisher and was named the MVC Athlete of the Year. Tuliamuk-Bolton also won the Midwest Regional individual title in 2011 and is a top contender for the same distinction in 2012.

The Missouri State women's team finished ninth at the MVC Championships. The Bears were led by junior Erin Edwards (16th place) and senior Emily Beaver (19th place). Edwards and Beaver were Missouri State's top-two finishers in each of the team's competitions in 2012.



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