Women's cross country finishes fourth and qualifies for NCAA Nationals

Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern women's cross country team qualified for the 2012 NCAA National Championships today with a fourth-place finish in the Central Region Championships held at the MSSU Cross Country Course. 

The Lions will now compete in the National Championships which will be held on the same course in two weeks (Nov. 17). 

Southern had three individuals earn All-Region honors as Rachel Schrader placed 11th in a time of 21:46.3 to lead the effort. Marlee Tegenkamp was 18th in a time of 21:57.2, while Kaitlyn Belisle was 21st in a time of 22:00.9. 

Lauren Baehr was 54th in a time of 22:44.2, while Addie Mengwasser, Cassy Kendrick and Jet Hovis placed 65th, 79th and 114th. 

The Lions move on to nationals for fifth time in the last six years and look to utilize the home course advantage and improve on their third-place finish from 2009. It is the fourth time in the last six years that both the men's and women's teams have qualified for nationals. 

Augustana won the team title with 29 points. Winona State placed second with 108 points, while Mary (149), Southern (160) and Pittsburg State (162) round out the top five teams. Each squad will qualify for the national meet in two weeks. 

Ewa Zoborowska of Harding, Brittany Poole of Northwest Missouri and Twishana Williams of Lincoln all qualified as individuals for the national meet. 

The 2012 NCAA Division II National Championships will be run at the MSSU Cross Country course on November 17th in Joplin.