NCAA Midwest Regional for Cross Country Weekend Preview
Missouri State University and Springfield, Mo., are excited to serve as the host of the 2009 NCAA Midwest Region Cross Country Championship on November 14.
As one of nine regional championships held nationally at the Division-I level, Springfield is proud to host the Midwest's 33 Division-I participating cross country schools from the states of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
Some of the teams competing in this year's regional have had national attention. On the men's side, nationally-ranked Oklahoma State is the favorite to win the team title. In the highly competitive Big 12 championship, Oklahoma State finished 1-4. In the most recent US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll, the Cowboys were ranked second in the country. Other nationally ranked men's teams in the region are Oklahoma (18th) and Minnesota (29th). On the women's side, Illinois is the top-ranked team, coming in at 13th in the USTFCCCA poll. Behind the Illini are Minnesota (17th), Iowa State (18th) and Iowa (30th).
In addition to the phenomenal talent on display in Springfield, Mo., fans of Cross Country will be privileged to hear from world-renowned athlete Craig Virgin. Virgin is the only American athlete to ever win the World Championship in cross country. He won the event twice, in 1980 and 1981. In addition to the World Championship honors, Virgin is also a three-time Olympian, the 1979 NCAA Cross Country Champion, seven-time US-record holder in road and track and a 2001 inductee into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame. Virgin will be presenting the awards at the end of the meet.
Springfield will also be the site of brand-new cross country technology. The Midwest Regional will be the first NCAA meet to ever have the capability of live updates. By signing up at http://www.flashresults.com/2010_Meets/xc/NCAAMWRegion/Alerts/smstracker_add.php, any spectator can follow any athlete via text message. Updates will be sent to your phone at every kilometer interval.
Midwest Region Championship will not only determine the top regional teams, but also serves as the first round of the NCAA Championships, as the top two teams and top four individuals not on a qualifying team automatically advance to the national championship. Additional teams and individuals are chosen through an at-large process following the regional competition.
Gates open at 10:00 am and the men's 10K will begin at noon, followed by the women's 6K at 1:15. Admission is five dollars per vehicle. All events will take place at Missouri State's Cross Country Facility at Springfield Underground. For more information on the Regional, visit www.missouristate09.com.