Joplin, Mo. -- Paced by a strong performance from its top three runners, the Missouri Southern men's cross country team placed 8th today at the 2012 NCAA Division II National Championships held at the MSSU Cross Country Course.
Junior Jake Benton placed 105th in a time of 31:33.9, while freshman Ryan Jackson was 121st with a time of 31:43.0. Sophomore Colton Wooldridge was 177th in a time of 32:24.5, while junior Nick Niggemann finished the course in a time of 33:39.3.
Adams State dominated the field to win the team title with 34 points. Colorado Mines placed second with 102 points, while Alaska-Anchorage was third with 148 points. Augustana (182) and Cal State Chico (183) rounded out the top five teams.
The Lions defeated six different teams that were ranked in front of them coming into the event.
The Lions were back at the National Championships for the fifth time in the last seven years. It marked the fourth time in the last six years that both the men's and women's teams had qualified for nationals in the same year.