JOPLIN — The Pitt State women's cross country team placed all five of its scoring runners in the top 20 as the Gorillas successfully defended their Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association title Saturday.

JOPLIN — The Pitt State women's cross country team placed all five of its scoring runners in the top 20 as the Gorillas successfully defended their Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association title Saturday.

Pitt State finished the meet with a low 63 points, with the host school Missouri Southern second with 92 points.

Junior Melissa Peden finished the six-kilometer race in 21 minutes, 39.75 seconds, finishing sixth overall. Sophomore Erica Testa finished 10th in 22:02.30 and junior Kaley Temaat placed 11th in 22:07.08.

Freshman Bridgette McCormick finished 14th in 22:13.08, while freshman Alex Moase placed 20th in 22:34.26.

"I'm very proud of our women," PSU head coach Russ Jewett said. "We don't have a supremely talented team, but what we do have is an extremely tough squad. They were up against it today and what it came down to is that we were tougher than our opponents when we needed to be to win."

The Pitt State men's cross country team faltered down the stretch, finishing a disappointing fourth.

The Gorillas scored 80 points in the meet, finishing behind MIAA champion Central Missouri (53 pts.), NW Missouri State (73 pts) and Missouri Southern (74 pts).

Junior Adam Volkert raced to a second-place finish in the eight-kilometer race, crossing the finish line in 23 minutes, 43.27 seconds. Senior Matt Haffner placed 6th overall in 24:25.19.

Freshman Nicholas Kirprono came in 21st overall in 25:08.29, while junior Bryce Irving placed 25th in 25:17.43.

"We knew we needed to have the right five guys run a perfect race today in order to have a chance to win the meet and we weren't able to do that," Jewett said. "We are disappointed with fourth place, a little better performance and we finish second. There isn't much margin for error in a conference championship setting."