Nov. 12, 2011
DEKALB, Ill. – The Mizzou men’s and women’s cross country teams both placed seventh at Saturday’s (Nov. 12) NCAA Midwest Regional. Junior Bailey Belvis (Prosper, Texas) led the women’s squad with a 19th-place finish in the women’s 6K race, while redshirt sophomore Hayden Legg (Mexico, Mo.) paced the men with a 20th-place finish in the men’s 10K. Saturday’s meet was the third straight time Belvis has led the Tigers in the women’s individual standings.
Coming in after Legg were redshirt senior Dan Quigley (St. Louis Mo.) in 40th place, junior Max Storms (Kansas City, Mo.) in 42nd, junior Tyler Compton (Buffalo, Mo.) at No. 54 and sophomore Merid Seleshi (Scarborough, Ontario) in 57th. Other Mizzou competitors on the men’s side were redshirt seniors Kyle Rood (St. Peters, Mo.) and Phillip King (Columbia, Mo.). The Tigers finished ahead of Big 12 foes Kansas and Kansas State in a 25-team field.
“I’m extremely pleased with results,” Men’s Coach Joe Lynn said. “All seven guys gave a tremendous effort. From the second we left campus, they were fully engaged. We ran tough today, and I’m pleased with our results. I’ve only worked with these guys for three months, and we’re already seeing great results. The guys are making smart decisions in and out of practice, and I’m really proud. Hayden ran the best race of his career in one of the toughest regions in the country, and that’s a testament to his hard work. Dan and Max were solid, as they have been all year. Merid and Tyler really moved up late in the race to help our team. We want to build on this momentum looking ahead to next year.”
Finishing behind Belvis were freshman Courtney Wood (Neosho, Mo.) in 32nd place, freshman Courtney Brown (Neosho, Mo.) in 53rd, senior Aimee Bonte (Fenton, Mo.) at No. 63 and senior Laura Roxberg (Overland Park, Kan.) in 71st. Outside the Tigers’ top five were freshman Liz Reida (Springfield, Mo.) and sophomore Marie O’Leary (Normal, Ill.). Mizzou beat out conference opponents Kansas, Oklahoma and Kansas State. The Tigers’ overall team effort propelled them to a top-ten finish in the 27-team competition.
“Our girls competed tough,” Women’s Coach Rebecca Wilmes said. “Having a complete team means a number of athletes can step up on any given day. Bailey ran a smart, methodical race, Courtney Wood ran huge as a freshman and Aimee also came up big. We’ve worked hard on improving our depth, and I’m proud of how they’ve competed all year. This wasn’t our best day collectively, but I’m proud of our team’s efforts.”
The Tigers’ top finisher was pleased with her own efforts at the regional, and noted the progress the team has made throughout the season.
“I thought the race was good today,” Belvis said. “I had a plan and executed it. As a team, it’s been incredible to see how we’ve grown from last year to this year. I think there’s going to be a whole new level of excitement for next year. This meet gives us a lot of confidence.”
Wood echoed Belvis, and said she is excited to continue training in the offseason. She said the Tigers will be formidable next year, despite the losses of two senior leaders.
“I think we ran well on a tough course,” Wood said. “We ran strong as a team, and we’ll have a good group coming back for next year. We’re losing Aimee and Laura, but we’ll have a strong foundation to build on.”
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