Hays, Kan. -- The Missouri Southern men's cross country team finished second this morning at the 2010 MIAA Cross Country Championships hosted by Fort Hays State University.
Southern placed second behind team champion Central Missouri. The Lions had three runners in the top 18 and two in the top six but the Mules placed four of its top five in the top ten and beat Southern by 43 points.
Senior Jarkko Jarvenpaa, running in his first event of the year, placed fourth to earn All-MIAA status. Freshman Viktor Kuk was sixth and was also All-MIAA, and was named the MIAA's Freshman of the Year. Jarvenpaa traversed the 8k course in a time of 24:30.60, while Kuk finished in 24:41.80.
Freshman Jake Benton and sophomore Nick Niggemann placed 18th and 21st, respectively, while sophomore Sam Pogue was 31st. Benton earned honorable mention All-MIAA for his efforts. Another pair of freshmen for the Lions, Alex Mason and Michael Weis, placed 58th and 64th, respectively.
Southern, unranked in the national and regional polls coming into the Championship, defeated four different regionally ranked opponents, as well as one nationally ranked opponent (Pittsubrg State - 21st). The Lions, also by defeating PSU, take home the Sonic Trophy Series point for the sport.
Southern will be back in action on November 20, competing at the NCAA Division II South Central Regional meet in Warrensburg, Mo.