Patriots To Compete at Missouri Southern/NCAA D2 Pre-National

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The Patriot Cross Country Teams are competing at the Missouri Southern/NCAA D2 Pre-National Meet this weekend, September 15, and are hoping that it is not their only trip to Joplin, Missouri this fall. Missouri Southern will be hosting the NCAA National Championships on November 17th and if the Patriots are in the top six in the Region on the Men’s side or in the top five in the Region on the Women’s side this weekend, they will return to Joplin to take part in the NCAA Championships.

The Patriots have been off for two weeks coming into this meet after opening the season at the Baylor Bear Twilight in Waco, Texas. In Waco, Kelsey Bruce and Joshua Pauley led the charge for the Patriots and this weekend head coach Jake Phillips expects much of the same.

“These two athletes have really stepped up over the past year in the way that they prepare and in the way that they approach racing. I really hope that they are thinking big this season because that would match their preparations,” said Phillips.

And these aren’t the only two athletes that the Patriots have stepping up. For the Lady Patriots, depth has been their strength; senior Ashley Spivey, junior Julie Durrwachter, and sophomores Hanna RiceGlynnis MeadeSarah Rayasand Tawnee Wimsatt have all had a great five weeks of workouts leading up to this weekend.

“Our depth is definitely our strength. Every week, the ladies have improved and been better in preparation. We have 10-12 ladies that can run for us on any given day and that’s huge during a long season,” added Phillips.

On the Men’s side, the Patriots are looking forward to junior Jacob Phillips and freshman Chris Springer opening up their 2012 seasons as both rested for the opener two weeks ago. Phillips is a two-time All-Heartland Conference selection and has finished as high as third in the Conference Championships.

“I am excited to see how our top five looks with Jacob and Chris running this weekend. We saw some good things two weeks ago from Trent Smith and Joseph Hale and we expect with Jacob and Chris back to be very strong through five,” said Phillips.

The Women’s 5k Race will start at 8:30AM and be followed by the Men’s 8k Race at 9:45AM. Results can be found online at