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Morning Sun
  • PSU takes 24th at Div. II national championships

  • The Pittsburg State women’s cross country team finished 24th Saturday in the NCAA Division II National Championships at the Missouri Southern Cross Country Course.

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  • The Pittsburg State women’s cross country team finished 24th Saturday in the NCAA Division II National Championships at the Missouri Southern Cross Country Course.
    “Overall, as a team, we did about as well as we could,” Pitt State head coach Russ Jewett said. “We were in a great position about 4 kilometers into a 6-kilometer race and then we had a couple girls have some issues. We had a freshman, Hannah (DeVries), have a severe stomach problem and she struggled but she did a good job of fighting and finishing. Then, Casey Epps struggled a little bit, had some kind of a physical issue going on.
    “I was just proud the girls put themselves on the line and gave themselves a chance to be successful. That was the main plan and we just had some things happen we couldn’t control.”
    Pitt State was paced by senior Kaley Temaat, running her final race. Temaat ran the 6K course in 22 minutes, 5.9 seconds. She finished 89th overall, working her way up four spots in the second half of the race. Temaat ran a faster time in the first half of the race.
    “She’s had some really good cross country races but that was probably the best cross country race of her life and no better time to do it than the National Championships in the last collegiate race of her life,” Jewett said. “She doesn’t have any track eligibility left or anything. Again, she went out very aggressively, settled, slipped a little bit like we knew she would but then she held tight and passed some folks the last kilometer. It was a fantastic race. I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
    Temaat finished 79th at nationals last year with a time of 23:35.7 and her 23:54 was good for 125th in 2010. In her four 6K races this year, Temaat ran her best times at regionals (22:11.9) and nationals (22:05.9).
    Making her first appearance on the biggest stage, sophomore Alex Moase came through with her 6K personal best time of 22:26.6. Moase finished 110th and she moved up 19 spots in the second half of the race.
    “She ran fantastic,” Jewett said. “She somehow found a way to pass, I don’t know how many people she passed. She doesn’t have much speed so she can’t really get out fast. On this course, it’s an advantage to get out fast and settle in. It’s hard for her because she doesn’t have much foot speed. What she lacks in foot speed she makes up for in tenacity and just finding gaps here and there. She was able to move up a lot. She’s like a running back.”
    Bridgette McCormick finished 134th (22:40.1), Cate Dunn 143rd (22:43.9), Casey Epps 172nd (22:58.0), Hannah DeVries 199th (23:28.6) and Amanda Callaway 206th (23:35.9). Callaway and Temaat were seniors in the race.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I was proud that Amanda got to experience the cross country nationals,” Jewett said. “This was her only opportunity. I’m sure she will carry that with her into track season. I’m sure that will help her.”
    The rest of the Pitt State runners Saturday were one junior (Casey Epps), three sophomores (Moase, McCormick and Dunn) and one freshman (DeVries). The Gorillas have made three consecutive national appearances.
    “We’ve got a couple girls who hadn’t raced nationals before and that will certainly be beneficial going forward,” Jewett said. “Hopefully, we can qualify again as a team and that will help them.”

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