Panthers end season at Columbia Regional

BEN LAHART, Sports Writer

The UNI cross country teams traveled to Columbia, Mo. to compete in the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on Friday, Nov. 11, hosted by the University of Missouri. This was UNI’s second time competing on this course this season, after the Gans Creek Classic in late September. The women’s team finished 25th in the field of 33 teams, while the men did not place as a team with only four runners competing.

In the women’s 6000 meter race, sophomore Emma Hoins led the team placing 93rd overall with a time of 21:42. Mia Rampton and Kate Crawford came in next for the Panthers placing 143rd and 148th in 22:19 and 22:23 respectively. The next Panther to cross the finish line was sophomore Sydney Schaffer in 22:31 for 156th place. To wrap up the women’s scoring, Paige Holub finished at 160th in 22:36. The last two runners for UNI were Isabelle Schaffer in 22:58 for 177th place and Sophia Jungling in 23:06 to finish in 183rd place. 

After accounting for individual runners, UNI scored a total of 695 points. Oklahoma State took the team title with 58 points. In-state rival Drake finished 15th with 441 points as well.

In the men’s 10k race, UNI only ran four runners, which disqualified them from scoring as a team. Caleb Shumaker led the way for the Panthers finishing 150th overall in 31:59. Six places after him was Payton Marrs in 32:04. Brady Griebel finished in 32:29 for 172nd place and Drake Hanson finished in 192nd place with a time of 33:57. Tulsa and Oklahoma tied for first place with 49 points. Tulsa took the victory via tie breaker. 

This looks to most likely end UNI’s cross country season for 2022. The NCAA Championships take the top two teams from each Regional Championship along with 13 other teams selected at-large. Another 38 individuals are selected based on Regional finishes as well. After UNI’s performance at regionals on Friday, the odds of their season continuing are low.

However, as this season ends, thoughts are already being directed towards the future. With only three seniors on the combined men’s and women’s roster, the UNI cross country team will look to return nearly 90% of their runners next year for the 2023 season, and will look to build off the experience gained this year.