Nov. 8, 2012
The University of Oklahoma cross country teams travel to the 2012 NCAA Midwest Regional on Friday, Nov. 9 in Springfield, Mo., with Missouri State as the host institution. The women’s 6K race starts at noon CT, followed by the men’s 10,000-meter race at 1:15 p.m. CT.
As one of nine NCAA Division I regional sites, Springfield will host programs from 10 conferences including the Atlantic 10, Big 12, BIG East, Big Ten, Conference USA, Great West, Horizon League, Mid-American, Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley and Summit League. Those 10 conferences span across nine different states with Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
The top two teams in each race will automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships on Nov. 17, in Louisville, Ky. Individual athletes are also competing for inclusion at the NCAA meet with the top four individuals not on a qualifying team also advancing to the national meet, and several at-large bids up for grabs.
The top 25 runners in each race will be named to the All-Midwest Region team.
The Sooner men enter the meet ranked No. 8 nationally in the latest U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll and No. 2 in the Midwest region. After qualifying for the NCAA Championships the past three years, Oklahoma is seeking its fourth straight automatic bid.
Oklahoma State is the only team ranked higher than the Sooners in the region, as OSU holds the top spot in both the Midwest region, and nationally. The field also includes two other nationally ranked teams in No. 19 Tulsa and No. 29 Kansas.
The Sooner men will be represented by Patrick Casey, Bill Kogel, Brandon Doughty, Riley Masters, Ryan Poland, Kevin Williams and Andrew Weaver.
Kogel finished ninth (31:27.91) at last year’s regional meet while Williams finished 13th with a 31:37.09 effort.
A trio of Oklahoma women will don the Crimson in Cream in Springfield on Friday in redshirt senior Jessica Engel, and seniors Molly Ferguson and Robin Ray.
Engel competed in last year’s regional with a fifth-place finish to earn an individual spot in the women’s NCAA Championship. Ferguson also competed in last year’s competition with a 22:57.15 effort to finish 91st out of all competitors.
Both the men’s and women’s teams return to the course after the Big 12 Championship meet, which saw the men finish third and the women ninth as five Sooners earned All-Big 12 honors.
For up-to-the minute updates, follow the Sooner cross country teams on Twitter at @OUTandF.