Cross Country Prepares for MIAA Championships


HAYS, Kan. – The Fort Hays State men’s and women’s cross country teams will return to the course this weekend when they travel to Elsah, Ill. to compete in the 2016 MIAA Cross Country Championships Saturday morning, October 22. Lindenwood University is hosting the event at the North Farm Cross Country Course, a dedicated cross country course on the campus of Principia College that will host the NAIA National Championships this season and the NCAA Division III National Championships in 2017.

The women’s team, currently ranked 17th in Division II, are in search of their first conference title in program history while the men are seeking their 16th league championship all-time.

The festivities will begin at 10 a.m. with the start of the men’s eight-kilometer race. The gun will go off in the women’s six-kilometer run at 11 a.m.

The women’s team enters the weekend as the top-ranked MIAA school in both the USTFCCCA Central Region rankings and the national coaches poll. The Tigers sit in third in the regional listings, with Southwest Baptist (fourth), Pittsburg State (fifth) and Missouri Southern (seventh) joining them from the MIAA. Jason McCullough’s squad is one of two teams from the conference listed in the latest coaches poll, with SBU sitting in 23rd.

Junior Shea Bonine has been the top runner for the Tigers at each of the last two events, posting a personal-best time of 17:36.5 her last time out at the 5k FHSU Tiger Open earlier this month (Oct. 8). Sophomore Sophie Dalmasso has finished in the top-15 at all four races so far this season, recording a PR of 17:37.6 at the Tiger Open. Senior Micki Krzesinski broke the 18-minute mark for the first time as a Tiger at the same meet, crossing the line in 17:45.4. Chelsea Jackson and Yessenia Gonzales have each been in the scoring for FHSU at all four meets this year.

Bonine (sixth) and Krzesinski (10th) both earned All-MIAA honors at the event last season, while Jackson (11th) and Dalmasso (20th) picked up honorable mention accolades.

The men’s team is led by senior Troy Wineinger, who ran the 8k Tiger Open in 24:53.5, a new personal-best. Feysel Rahmeto completed the same race in a season-best 25:38.9 with Layton Werth following closely behind in 25:48.4. Jacob Thomas has been in the scoring at each race for the Tigers, recording a top time of 25:59.34 at the ESU Papa John’s Invitational (Sept. 23).

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