Mizzou Cross Country senior Karissa Schweizer (Urbandale, Iowa) took first at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships in Ames, Iowa on Friday as the Tiger senior won her second straight NCAA Midwest Regional title. Schweizer destroyed the competition, finishing more than 20 seconds ahead of the runner-up. Schweizer was one of three Mizzou runners to earn NCAA All-Midwest Regional honors, as she was joined by redshirt senior Megan Cunningham (Eureka, Mo.), who finished 12th, and redshirt sophomore Thomas George(Gloucester, England), who finished 15th for the men.
Courtesy Mizzou Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou ©Jim Kirby 2017
The honor was the fourth career regional honor for Schweizer, who finished seventh as a freshman, 25th as a sophomore, and first as a junior. Cunningham and George both earned the honor for the first time in their career, and George was the first regional honor for the men’s team since 2013 when Hayden Legg finished 22nd. George’s finish is the highest regional finish on the men’s side since 2007 when Dan Hedgecock finished 13th.
Schweizer’s finish led the Mizzou women to a fourth-place finish with 215 points, as the Tigers finished behind Iowa State (90 points), Oklahoma State (103 points) and Minnesota (119 points). The Mizzou women will now wait to see if they will receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships, as the field will be announced tomorrow.
George paced the men’s team for the fifth consecutive meet as the men placed ninth with 271 points. Iowa State took the team title on the men’s side as well, finishing with 69 points.
Schweizer crossed the finish line with a time of 19:50.9, 20 seconds ahead of runner-up Sharon Lokedi (Kansas), who finished at 20:11.6. Cunningham finished second for Mizzou and 12th overall, setting a personal record on the 6k course with a time of 20:29.9. In just her third race of the season, redshirt sophomore Sophia Racette (St. Louis, Mo.) finished third for Mizzou and 64th overall at 21:22.6.
On the men’s side, six of seven runners set personal records, led by George, who finished with a time of 29:32.6. Finishing behind George was redshirt senior Marc Dubrick (DeKalb, Ill.), who finished 38th overall at 30:00.2 and redshirt junior Evan Schulte (Columbia, Mo.), who finished 56th overall at 30:16.30.
Mizzou Head Coach Marc Burns
On the women’s race
“What a great day it was today for the Tigers! I am so proud of how we competed in both races. Our women’s team put together their best team race of the year. Karissa looked amazing up front, and Megan had a huge day. I was also really impressed with how Sophia and Hannah battled the entire race, as both moved up a ton from 3k to the finish. We are in the mix for an at-large bid and will find out if we make it to the NCAA meet as a team tomorrow. Karissa will be ready to battle anyone next week, but hopefully she Tigers running with her.”
On the men’s race
“The men got out in great position, and worked really well together. It was so exciting to see them put their noses in the thick of the race and battle for entire race. We ended up out performing our pre-race ranking and finished ninth. Thomas was outstanding up front for us and as the men’s region representative, I was so pumped to give him his All-Regional medal. Marc had a big day too, and that was so good to see. We learned a great deal today and will be better next year because of it.”
On the team’s fan support
“We had a huge crowd of supporters out on the course, and I want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting the Tigers today! MIZ!”
Mizzou will now head to Louisville Ky., for the NCAA Championships on Nov. 18 as Schweizer looks to repeat her 2016 NCAA Champion title. The Tigers will await to see if Schweizer is joined by the rest of the Mizzou team, who could earn an at-large bid during the announcement of the NCAA field tomorrow.
Men’s 10k Results – 9th Place (271 points, 15-38-56-65-97-124-143)
15. Thomas George, 29:32.6// 38. Marc Dubrick, 30:00.2 // 56. Evan Schulte, 30:16.3 // 56. Austin Hindman, 30:21.7 // 97. Zach Cook, 30:48.1 // 124. Justin Loquercio, 31:12.2 // 143. Sheldon Keence, 31:35.7 //
Women’s 6k Results – 4th Place (215 points, 1-12-64-67-71-125-145)
1. Karissa Schweizer, 19:50.9 // 12. Megan Cunningham, 20:29.9 // 64. Sophia Racette, 21:22.6 // 67. Jamie Kempfer, 21:25.4 // 71. Hannah Thomas, 21:27.9 // 125. Jenna Lutzow, 21:58.4 // 145. Jordyn Kleve, 22:13.8