Cheruiyot Heading to Nationals; Team Finishes 8th
Missouri State sophomore Pasca Cheruiyot finished third at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships (6K) today. Cheruiyot ran a time of 20:40.70, finishing just eight seconds behind the individual winner, Racheal Marchand of Iowa. Her third-place finish qualifies for the NCAA National Championship in Terre Haute, Ind., on November 24.
Cheruiyot becomes the first Bear to qualify for Nationals since Casey Owens qualified in back-to-back seasons in 2003 and 2004. Cheruiyot joins Owens in becoming the third Missouri State runner to finish in the top-10 at the regional championships. “Pasca ran great today, she went out quick, a risky strategy with the wind, but that’s her style,” said Head Coach Greg Hipp following the race. “She set herself up well for contending at Nationals.”
Freshman Terry Phillips finished in 21st place with a time of 21:33.25. Phillips and Cheruiyot were named to the All-Region team, the third time in school history that the Bears have had multiple All-Region runners. Phillips becomes just the second freshman to receive All-Region honors.
Senior Jamie Vest’s career culminated with a 27th-place finish and a time of 21:45.05. Vest just missed qualifying for the All-Region team.
As a team, the Bears finished eighth with 263 points. In finishing eighth, the Bears once again defeated conference rival Wichita State (11th), avenging the second-place finish from the conference meet. The Bears also defeated the University of Missouri (10th) squad to finish as the top team in the state of Missouri.
The NCAA will announce Monday, other team and individual at-large bids to the NCAA National Championship.