COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Championship portion of the season continues for the Tigers this weekend with the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship on Friday in Ames, IA. This is the final meet of the season before the NCAA Championships in Terra Haute, IN, the following weekend. Both teams have their sights set on qualifying for the Championship meet, which requires a top two team finish on Friday, a top four individual finish, or an at-large bid following the Regional meets. The men will kick off the day's events at the Iowa State Cross Country course with the 10k at 12:00 p.m. CST, followed by the women's 6k at 1:15 p.m. CST.
THE MEN The Mizzou men are entering the weekend after an exciting performance at the SEC Championship in Gainesville, FL, two weeks ago, which had them finishing fourth in the conference. The squad will look to improve upon that placing this weekend as they look to one of the two coveted team slots in the Region.
They will be faced with some exciting competition in the field, including six current nationally ranked teams, as released by the USTFCCCA (U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association). Topping this list is current No. 3 Oklahoma State, followed by No. 13 Tulsa, No. 24 Iowa State, as well as Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Illinois, who have all received votes in this past poll.
Returning for the Tigers is the group of All-SEC finishers, led by junior Sam Dickerson. Dickerson finished 11th overall in the conference to earn Second Team All-SEC, leading the Tigers with a career-best performance of 24:16.3. There is also the trio of T.J. Carey, Drew White, and Dan Roe, who graced the podium as three of the seven All-SEC Freshman Team finishers. Carey led this group with his 23rd-place finish, crossing as the first freshman overall and earning SEC Freshman of the Year for his performance both at Gainesville, as well as throughout the season.
The Women The Mizzou womenare also looking strong going into this weekend's meet, coming off a pair of impressive performances at the Bradley Invitational and the SEC Championship. The Tigers took home a win at Bradley four weeks ago, launching them into the No. 4 spot in the Midwest Regional rankings as well as the SEC Championship, where they improved upon their 13th-place finish in 2012 with a seventh-place performance this year.
Like the men they will have some good competition to spar with, including No. 7 Iowa State, No. 16 Minnesota, and Oklahoma State, who received votes in the last poll.
Ready to lead the way for the Tigers is freshman Kaitlyn Fischer, who earned both a First Team All-SEC and All-SEC Freshman Team finish with her sixth-place performance at the SEC Championship. She was the first freshman across on the 6k course, clocking in at 20:30.4. For her efforts in Gainesville, as well as her performances throughout the season, she joined classmate T.J. Carey as the SEC Freshman of the Year.