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Cross Country teams place second at MIAA Championships


The UNK men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the MIAA Championships this past weekend. Both nationally-ranked teams finished in second place at the conference meet in Joplin, Missouri.

The No. 14 Loper men’s team scored 68 points which was behind first-place Missouri Southern with 41 points. This was UNK’s highest place in the MIAA tournament since they came in second in 2018. 

The Lopers were led by Myles Bach in the eight-kilometer race, who finished seventh with a time of 24:03.02. Bach was followed by Luke Stuckey in eighth with a time of 24:04.14 and Ben Arens in ninth with a time of 24:06.35. All three runners finished with first-team accolades for finishing in the top 10.

“Ben and Luke ran together pretty much the entire race,” said UNK coach Brady Bonsall. “Myles went out a little faster and kind of got the race going. Sometimes in championship races, they actually start slower because everybody is kind of feeling the situation out. Myles prefers one that is more of an honest pace and he was the guy who set that early in the race.”

Justin Vrooman earned an honorable mention placing 16th with a time of 24:42.31. The team finished ahead of No. 21 Pittsburg State in third place and Washburn in fourth place.

On the women’s side, the No. 23 Lopers scored 67 points in the six-kilometer race, falling behind first-place Pittsburg State with 51 points. UNK won the conference championship last season at the Kearney Country Club. 

Hannah Pollan led the way in seventh place with a time of 21:15.48. Mara Hemmer placed 10th with a time of 21:36.42, Grace Bonsall placed 11th with a time of 21:42.54 and Elizabeth Polk placed 18th at 22:00.68. 

Pollan and Hemmer earned All-MIAA first-team for placing in the top 10. Bonsall and Polk earned All-MIAA honorable mention for placing in the top 20.

“This is the first time that we’ve had the full women’s team out there,” Bonsall said. “We feel good where our depth is and how we ran. In both races, the top four places went according to the national rankings. There weren’t any surprises to how the race went.”

The teams will return to the same course in Joplin for the NCAA Central Regional on Nov. 19. 

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GRANT TIGHE, Sports Editor
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