JOPLIN, MO – The Wayne State College women’s and men’s cross country teams closed out their season in the middle of November with it being a Fall Festival Year.
The NCAA Division II Central Regional Cross Country Invite was held the latest it possibly could be Saturday from Joplin, Missouri. Teams from the NSIC, MIAA and GAC ran on the Missouri Southern Cross Country Course.
For the Wayne State women, the team placed 27th out of 35 teams with 765 points.
The University of Mary easily won the women’s team title with 29 points followed by fellow NSIC school Augustana in second at 64 points. Pittsburg State won a tiebreaker with Oklahoma Baptist for the third and final national qualifying spot with both teams scoring 122 points. Southwest Baptist was fifth at 176 points. Wayne State was 11th out of the 15 teams from the NSIC in the meet.
Molly McCartney was the top finisher in 120th place out of 237 runners on the 6,000-meter course in a time of 24:09.
Other Wildcat results went to Joan Jelimo (128th – 24:21), Andrea Torres (164th – 25:06), Kim Lowman (176th – 25:22), Allie Rosener (177th – 25:22), Amanda Mote (192nd – 25:45) and Joana Salto (199th – 26:03).
In the men’s division, WSC took 24th out of 28 teams with 699 points.
Host Missouri Southern captured the men’s team title with 55 points followed by Augustana and Sioux Falls from the NSIC placing second and third with 73 and 113 points respectively.
MSU Moorhead (186) and Southwest Baptist (207) rounded out the top five teams with Fort Hays State sixth at 209 points and Nebraska-Kearney seventh with 212 points. WSC was 10th out of the NSIC teams competing.
Dylan Kessler was the top runner finishing 129th out of 192 runners on the 10,000-meter course in 33:40.
Other Wildcat finishers were Isaias Solorio (131st – 33:42), Bailey Peckham (143rd – 33:58), Bryce Holcomb (149th – 34:11), Nathan Pearson (160th – 34:53), Jesus Arellano (172nd – 35:50) and Brock Hegarty (176th – 36:19).
The top three teams from each regional meet will automatically advance to the 2018 NCAA Championship finals (24 teams total). A total of 10 at-large teams will be selected by the NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Committee. There is no limit to the number of at-large teams that may be selected from any given region.
The top two individuals who are not part of a qualifying team will automatically advance to the NCAA Championship finals (16 individuals total). All individuals who finish in the top five at the regional meet and are not part of a qualifying team will automatically advance to the championship finals. The next eight individuals will be selected at-large.
The NCAA Championships will be held on Dec. 1 at Schenley Park in Pittsburgh and is part of the NCAA Fall Festival.