Storms Secures a Spot at Cross Country National Championship
SPRINGFIELD, MO -- The Missouri Cross Country teams battled strong winds and a tough field today at the NCAA Midwest Regional in Springfield. The Men came out with one individual National Qualifier and All-Region honor in Max Storms, as well as a 5th place overall finish, coming in ahead of No. 29 Kansas. Out of the seven men who competed, only four had ever raced a 10K before on the cross country course, and all four earned new personal records on the Missouri State University course.
The Mizzou Men took control of the race early on, leading the pack for the majority of the 10K course. Senior Max Storms stepped up and took the lead for the Tigers, finishing 18th overall in 30:47.38, breaking his previous 10K personal record of 31:21 from the 2010 Midwest Regional. Storms is the first man to make it the NCAA National Championship since 2008, when Garrett Jeffries finished 95th at the Championship meet.
Sophomore Bryant Blahnik was the 2nd finisher for the Tigers squad, making his debut 10K appearance in 31:08.72 to finish 30th.
Juniors Merid Seleshi and Hayden Legg were next for the Tigers, both finishing with new personal records. Seleshi crossed the line in 31:09.96 to take 33rd and beat out his previous PR of 32:47 from the 2011 Regional. Legg was just behind in 34th, finishing the course in 31:11.52 to take down his PR of 31:44 from the 2011 Regional.
Junior Tyler Compton rounded out the top five for the Missouri crew, earning a new PR of 31:49.27 to take 58th. Freshman Evan Chiplock and sophomore Sam Dickerson finished out the Mizzou performers with 70th and 92nd places, respectively, for their first 10K performances. Chiplock navigated the course in 32:09.12, and Dickerson in 32:41.17.
The Lady Tigers also faced a tough field of competition, and came out with a 16th place finish. Senior Bailey Belvis once again took the lead for the young Tiger squad, taking 31st place in 21:37.36.
She was followed by sophomore Liz Reida, who finished in 21:53.71 to earn 45th. Freshman Faith Summey stepped up as the third Tiger finisher, finishing in 22:45.87. Sophomores Courtney Wood and Ali Ross finished out the Tigers' scorers, running 22:59.47 and 23:04.45, respectively. Freshman Sam Garrett rounded out the Tigers' competitors, finishing the 6K course in 23:26.15.
The Mizzou Men now await the results of the other NCAA Regional competitions, with the hope to gain an at-large bid into the NCAA National Championship on Saturday, November 17.