SSU men, women ranked 7th, 20th in final NAIA XC poll

The men’s and women’s cross country programs at Shawnee State were able to obtain comfortable slots inside the final NAIA Cross Country Top 25 Poll of the 2019-20 season, with the men finishing seventh and the women collecting a 20th-place finish in the rankings, which were released on Monday and were based off of each team’s finishes in the NAIA Championships.

Shawnee State’s men, who finished inside the NAIA’s Top 15 for the second consecutive season and the third time in four years, have finished inside the NAIA’s Top 20 in 10 out of the last 12 seasons of competition.

Seth Farmer also collected his second consecutive NAIA All-American accolade in cross country, along with his best overall finish in the event, with a 10th-place time of 25:10, tied the outgoing senior for second-place in program history with former SSU harrier Keegan Rathkamp as far as top finishes are concerned.

Only Brad Liston, who finished sixth in the 2013 NAIA Cross Country Championships, posted a better time.

Steven Adams (34th, 25:37), Hunter Hoover (63rd, 26:04), Josh Metzung (70th, 26:08), and Jonah Phillips (80th, 26:15) allowed Shawnee State to put all five of its scoring runners in the top-100 for the third time in school history, with this year’s Bears joining the 2009 and 2016 units as the only groups to put five scoring runners in the top-100 in the history of the program.

Adams came within nine seconds of a top-30 finish and NAIA All-American honors in his own right.

In addition to the top-five scorers, the SSU men obtained finishes of 101st from Hunter Bennington (26:23) and 105th from Aiden Kammler (26:26).

It is the first time in school history where all seven runners who competed in the NAIA National Championships finished inside the top-third of the field and the top 105 runners overall.

The Shawnee State women, meanwhile, got an outstanding effort from Brooke Smith, who posted an 18:21 to grab a 13th-place finish overall and the program’s second-best finish at the NAIA Championships in school history.

Jessica Price, who finished as the runner-up to Smith at the Mid-South Conference Championships, collected a 19:06 to finish in 63rd place overall.

Jessica Cook (19:45, 143rd), Marissa Smith (20:09, 209th) and Mckenna Pannell (20:50, 268th) rounded out the top-five scorers.

With the top-100 runs from Smith and Price, the 2019 version of the Shawnee State women’s cross country roster joined the 2006, 2008 and the 2013-to-2017 iterations of the program in posting at least two top-100 runners overall.

The official end-of-season poll marks the 13th time that the men have finished inside the NAIA’s Top 25 at season’s end, while the women claimed their 10th ranking inside the NAIA’s Final Top 25 Poll with their 20th-place finish in Saturday’s NAIA Championships.

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