SSU men’s XC maintain #8 spot

Behind yet another meet-winning effort from Seth Farmer — and an outstanding team effort at the Mid-South Conference Championships where Shawnee State put nine runners among the top-15 runners overall en route to the 2019 Mid-South Conference Championship — the men’s cross country program at SSU retained its No. 8 national ranking in the last in-season poll of the 2019 campaign.

SSU, who accumulated 427 points to maintain its No. 8 standing, sits 22 points ahead of The Master’s (Calif.) and just 21 points back of No. 7 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) in the national polls. Oklahoma City, who garnered all 20 first-place votes in the Men’s Cross Country Poll, led the way with 560 points while the College of Idaho, Saint Mary (Kan.), Indiana Wesleyan, and Southern Oregon obtained top-five finishes with 541, 517, 505, and 491 tallies. Taylor (Ind.) was sixth with 473 points to their credit.

Farmer, who won his third consecutive race on Saturday, took home Mid-South Conference Runner of the Year honors by obtaining a mark of 25:15 en route to Saturday’s meet victory at Phil Moore Park in Bowling Green, Ky., while Steven Adams (25:46) and Josh Metzung (25:53) joined Farmer as the only runners to run a time lower than 26 minutes in the meet. Jonah Phillips, who posted a time of 26:07, was named as the Mid-South Conference’s Freshman of the Year and allowed Shawnee State to collect the top four finishes overall in the meet.

Behind the quartet, Portsmouth native Aiden Kammler (26:15) and Thryceton Deckard (26:16) also finished as First-Team All-Mid South Conference honorees in sixth and seventh, while Owen Reeher’s 26:22 and Hunter Hoover’s 26:28 allowed the pair to finish in ninth and 11th overall as the latter pair earned Second-Team All-MSC accolades and put eight Shawnee State runners in the top-11 overall.

Chris Parsons, who finished 15th with a 26:51, missed Second-Team All-MSC honors by just five seconds as the Bears nearly posted a perfect score — missing out by just one point with 16 to their credit — and posted a 55-point victory over second-place Campbellsville in the Men’s 8K race, which featured 79 competitors in all. Head coach Eric Putnam subsequently received Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year accolades as a result.

For the season, Shawnee State, as a team, has collected five top-three finishes in the seven meets where it has registered a team score while winning both the Mid-South Conference Preview and the Mid-South Conference Championship and finishing second at the #JennaStrong Fall Classic behind Ohio State. In the additional pair of meets where the Bears didn’t collect a top-three finish, Shawnee State was racing exclusively against NCAA Division I and Division II competition at the Michigan State Spartan Invitational and Greater Louisville Classic, with SSU sitting nine of its top-11 runners in the latter event.

The men’s and women’s cross country programs qualified for the 64th Annual NAIA National Championships in Vancouver, Wash with their Mid-South Conference Championship victories. The races for both men and women will be held on Friday, Nov. 22.

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