The 2008 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Championship at the Missouri State Cross Country Course in Springfield, Mo., went well for the men’s pre-race favorite as the Southern Illinois claimed the team title. On the women’s side, Wichita State earned the team championship over host and pre-race pick Missouri State. Individually, Southern Illinois' Jeff Schirmer and Missouri State's Pasca Cheruiyot were crowned champions in contrasting fashion, with Schirmer leading a pack of runners across the finish line with just 27 seconds separating the top-10 men’s runners, while Cheruiyot ran away from the women's field, winning by 55 seconds over Wichita State’s Kellyn Johnson.
The Saluki men earned their second-straight championship and 12th in school history, while the women's crown for Wichita State is the fourth consecutive for the Shockers and the 9th women's cross country title in school history.
Matt Sparks of Southern Illinois and Marc Burns of Wichita State were named Coaches of the Year for men and women, respectively. With their wins at the conference meet, Jeff Schirmer of Southern Illinois and Pasca Cheruiyot of Missouri State were named Athletes of the Year. Schirmer set a course record for the men’s 8k race, clocking a winning time of 24:18.73, while Cheruiyot crushed the Missouri State school record, crossing the finish line in 16:57.81.
|2008 All-MVC Men's Cross Country
|1. Jeff Schirmer, SIU*
|2. Matt Mroczynski, ILS
|3. Scott Keeney, INS*
|4. Michael Disher, INS
|5. Dan Dunbar, SIU
|6. Eric Schulz, INS
|7. Scott Krapf, ILS*
|8. Jason Ordway, SIU
|9. Kyle Kirchner, SIU
|10. Scott Reed, WSU
*2007 All-MVC; &2006 All-MVC
Men's Coach of the Year: Matt Sparks, Southern Illinois
Men's Athlete of the Year: Jeff Schirmer, Southern Illinois
|2008 All-MVC Women's Cross Country
|1. Pasca Cheruiyot, MSU
|2. Kellyn Johnson, WSU*
|3. Irene Kosgei, WSU
|4. Jamie Vest, MSU*
|5. Caedryn Schrunk, UNI*&%
|6. Danielle Nowasell, UNI
|7. Terry Phillips, MSU
|8. Heather Stembridge, INS
|9. Nicole Braunsdorf, DU
|10. Michelle Brunk, ILS
*2007 All-MVC; &2006 All-MVC; %2005 All-MVC
Women's Coach of the Year: Marc Burns, Wichita State
Women's Athlete of the Year: Pasca Cheruiyot, Missouri State
Men's Race Recap
A contingent of four Saluki runners in the top-10 gave Southern Illinois the Missouri Valley Conference men's cross country championship Saturday, with junior Jeff Schirmer claiming the individual title for the second-straight year.
Schirmer led a tightly-packed group of runners over the final two kilometers of the 8k race at the Missouri State Cross Country Course, breaking the men’s 8k course record to score the crown in 24:18.73.
Sophomore Dan Dunbar was fifth in 24:34.88, followed by SIU junior Jason Ordway and sophomore Kyle Kirchner, who finished eighth (24:42.62) and ninth (24:45.04), respectively.
The Salukis’ strong top-10 finish, along with a 15th-place finish by senior Mark Bowman, easily gave Southern Illinois its 12th team title in school history. SIU tallied just 37 points to finish ahead of runner-up Indiana State (40 points) and third-place Illinois State (50).
The Redbirds' Matt Mroczynski was second overall with a time of 24:28.44 to finish ahead of Indiana State junior Scott Keeney, who was third in 24:31.76 to lead the Sycamores. It was the second top-10 finish in as many tries at the championship meet for Keeney, who was seventh in 2007.
Indiana State sophomore Michael Disher was fourth in 24:33.10 while fellow Sycamore, Eric Schulz, was sixth in 24:36.21. Illinois State junior Scott Krapf finished seventh (24:39.44), his second top-10 finish in two years, after finishing fourth a season ago.
Rounding out the top-10 was the Shockers’ top finisher, senior Scott Reed, who crossed the finish line in 24:45.50.
Wichita State took fourth in the team race, led by Reed and freshman Trace Kendrick’s 18th-place showing with a time of 25:33.27. Drake's Andrew Haigh was 19th in 25:37.37 to lead the Bulldogs, who finished fifth in the team standings.
Evansville took sixth as a team, led by junior Greg Pulscher’s 24th place finish in 25:59.22, while UNI took home seventh behind senior Mike Clancy’s 29th place finish (26:14.25).
Creighton's Jared Dittman led the way for the Bluejays with a 30th place showing in 26:26.96, while sophomore Brian Tyne was 44th to lead Bradley in 26:59.29.
Women's Race Recap
A runaway and school record-breaking individual win for Missouri State’s Pasca Cheruiyot was not enough to lead her Bears to the team championship, as Wichita State women's cross country team took its fourth consecutive Missouri Valley Conference title Saturday, as the Shockers placed two runners in the top-10 to take the women's crown at the 2008 State Farm MVC Championships.
The Shockers saw their top two runners finish below the 18-minute mark on the 5k course at the Missouri State Cross Country Course in Springfield, Mo., led by senior Kellyn Johnson's runner-up time of 17:52.05. Johnson finished just ahead of teammate Irene Kosgei, who took third in 17:53.10, nearly 54 seconds faster than her previous season-best time.
Missouri State senior Jamie Vest, who finished fifth a season ago, turned in a season-best time of 17:54.78 to take fourth, while UNI senior Caedryn Schrunk finished fifth in 17:55.86, becoming the first Panther in school history to earn a top-10 finish in four-straight years. Panther freshman Danielle Nowasell came in sixth, crossing the finish line in 17:57.76.
Missouri State freshman Terry Phillips finished seventh, clocking a personal-best time of 18:00.04, while Indiana State senior Heather Stembridge led the Sycamores, finishing eighth in 18:00.28.
Senior Nicole Braunsdorf led the way for Drake with a ninth-place finish in 18:08.45, just ahead of the Redbirds' Michelle Brunk, who rounded out the top-10 with a time of 18:09.46, leading Illinois State to a third-place team finish behind five top-25 performances.
Megan Hoelscher was Southern Illinois’ top finisher, taking 12th in 18:25.51 to help the Salukis to a fourth-place finish in the team race. UNI, which finished fifth as a team, led by Schrunk and Nowasell, who took fifth and sixth, respectively.
Indiana State finished sixth in the team standings behind Stembridge’s eighth-place position and freshman Kacie Klem (13th, 18:26.49), while Drake took home seventh behind the legs of Braunsdorf’s ninth-place performance.
Lauren Fog was 32nd in 19:11.89 to lead Bradley, which finished eighth as a team, while Evansville's Arrena Svboda was 52nd in 20:10.53 to lead the Purple Aces, who finished ninth in the final standings.
Creighton was led by junior Molly Jergenson, who clocked in at 19:38.51 to finish 44th, as the Jays finished 10th in the team standings.
The Shockers' title is the ninth all-time for Wichita State and third in as many tries for third-year head coach Marc Burns.