Oct. 23, 2008
Bearcats Travel to Central Missouri for MIAA Championships
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Both Northwest Missouri State men's and women's cross country teams head to Warrensburg, Mo., this weekend to compete in the MIAA Championships Oct. 25. The Bearcats will look to unseat Missouri Southern, who have swept the men's and women's titles the past two seasons.
The meet will be similar in size to the Nebraska-Kearney Loper Open Oct. 11, in both number of participants and teams. Both men and women finished near the middle of the results, finishing fifth of nine teams and fourth of eight teams, respectively.
"Until the UNK meet, we had two different sides," said men's and women's head cross country coach Scott Lorek. "We had our home meet which is extremely small, and then we had the Woody Greeno and Minnesota that were huge. You get more of a feel on what kind of space you'll have and how you'll be able to run your race when you have a little bit more room. It also gives us a little bit better feeling on team scoring with the same kind of numbers because you're not going to have the huge gaps in between people."
It's the first MIAA meet hosted by Central Missouri since 2000, when the Northwest women finished second and one point behind champion Truman. The Bearcats last ran on the course in 2006 for the NCAA South Central Regional when the women finished 10th of 19 teams.
Angela Adams will be running her second collegiate six-kilometer race this weekend, after finishing 17th overall and first for Northwest at the Loper Open. Brittany Poole also ran her first collegiate six-kilometer course at Kearney, Neb., to finished 21st overall and second for the Bearcats. Both freshmen missed their first six-kilometer event at the Woody Greeno/Nebraska Open Sept. 20.
"They've been doing great," said Lorek. "The best thing about them is that they are very responsive to what they need to do to run up to their potential. Sometimes you have freshmen who are too scared and too freaked out and all sorts of other issues. Angela and Brittany are not. They're good competitors and they're focused more on what they need to do and not on distractions."
Ben Chappell earned All-MIAA Honorable Mention honors in the 2007 championships after he finished 15th overall to lead the Bearcats. But a freshman, Zach Layton, has led Northwest in all three eight-kilometer races this season. Layton ran a season-best 26:22.9 at the Loper Open. Chappell has lowered his season time more than a minute from the start of the season and finished 19th overall two weeks ago with a time of 26:31.2.
"Zach has been a nice surprise," said Lorek. "Before the season started, I would not have said he would have been our number one guy. Ben came on well at Kearney. He's running the way he's capable of. He had a couple of little things that held him back, but I think things are squared away and he's definitely ready to go."
The men's eight-kilometer race begins at 10:30 a.m. with the women's six-kilometer race to follow at 11:30 a.m. Both races will begin on the fairway of the 16th hole and end on the driving range located near the first tee box. The top 10 finishers for the men and women earn All-MIAA honors, with the next 10 earning All-MIAA Honorable Mention.
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