Women picked second in MIAA polls, men sixth

| Michael Bauer sports editor |

The Pittsburg State women’s cross country team was picked second in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) preseason coaches poll.
The PSU women received one first-place vote and 86 points in polling of the conference’s 11 head coaches.
Last year’s MIAA conference champion, Southwest Baptist, was picked first, receiving just four more points than Pitt State. One point behind Pitt State is Missouri Southern, followed by Nebraska-Kearney.
In fifth place sits Central Missouri with 63 points and in sixth is Northwest Missouri State at 51. Fort Hays State and Central Oklahoma took seventh and eighth with Lindenwood, Lincoln and Emporia State finishing up the list.
PSU has five of its top women runners returning from the 2013 season. Last year the Gorillas took third overall at the MIAA championships. However, this year the team is without its leading runner and national runner-up finalist Jessica Macy, who graduated in May.
The Pittsburg men’s cross country team was picked to finish sixth in the MIAA preseason polls, receiving 31 points. Missouri Southern received eight first-place votes and 64 points to sit on the top of the men’s poll.
Southwest Baptist follows in second with 53 points while defending conference champions Central Missouri take third place with 48 points and one first-place vote.
Nebraska-Kearney was picked fourth, just five points ahead of Northwest Missouri State, which is picked to finish in fifth. Five points behind them is Pittsburg State. The Gorillas are three points ahead of Fort Hays State. Lindenwood is picked in the eighth slot while the Emporia State Hornets are predicted to finish ninth.

Maggie Highberger, left, spikes the ball to a defender from Newman University during a volleyball match at the Weede Gymnasium, Pittsburg State University, on Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.

Maggie Highberger, left, spikes the ball to a defender from Newman University during a volleyball match at the Weede Gymnasium, Pittsburg State University, on Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.


The men’s team welcomes back three of its top five runners from last season. They finished sixth at the 2013 MIAA.
Just like the women, the men also lost its leading runner from last year, Adam Volkert.
Volkert won the conference last year and was an All-American finisher at nationals.
The 2014 MIAA Conference Championships is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 8, in Bolivar, Mo. Southwest Baptist will host this year.
The Pittsburg State cross country teams will make their season debuts on Saturday, Sept. 6, when the Gorillas host their annual Alumni Race at Countryside Golf Course.
The women’s 4-kilometer race will start at 8 a.m., and the men’s 6-kilometer race is slated to start at 8:30 a.m.
Both teams will travel to Missouri Southern State’s Stampede Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 20, in Joplin, Mo.
Two weeks later the Gorillas will travel to Topeka for the Kansas University Rim Rock Farm Classic, instead of traveling to St. Paul, Minn., for the annual Roy Griak Invitational as they have traditionally done in the past.
Pittsburg State will also run at the Missouri S&T Jackling Jock Invitational in Rolla, Mo., before the conference championships.

Men
1.Missouri Southern
2.Southwest Baptist
3.Central Missouri
4.Nebraska-Kearney
5.Northwest Missouri
6.Pittsburg State
7.Fort Hays State
8.Lindenwood
9.Emporia State

Women

1.Southwest Baptist
2.Pittsburg State
3.Missouri Southern
4.Nebraska-Kearney
5.Central Missouri
6.Northwest Missouri
7.Fort Hays State
8.Central Oklahoma
9.Lindenwood
10.Lincoln
11.Emporia State

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