AMES, Iowa – In brutally cold conditions, the UMKC men’s and women’s cross country teams continued to fight through adversity this season, turning in solid performances at the NCAA Midwest regional meet on Friday morning in Ames, Iowa. The men’s squad grabbed a top-10 finish, while the women’s team finished in the top-20.
“As a group, we turned in great performances today with a PR from almost everyone,” head coach Shameika McField commented. “Both teams finished the highest we ever have in the region. Chandler and Sarah both had stellar races on the women’s side. The men finishing in seventh featured student-athletes that all had personal best performances.”
“Today was a big step in a good direction,” assistant coach Brett Guemmer shared. “Bryce obviously rank a great race, but so did the rest of our team. Jason ran 80% of the race with one shoe and that’s a gutsy performance that kept us up there in the team scores. On the women’s side, Sarah and Chandler had good days. They did a great job of just moving forward and picking people off. Overall, I am extremely happy and proud of how all these student-athletes competed this year.”
Senior Bryce Miller (Ashland, Wis.) paced the men’s squad, punching his ticket to the NCAA Division I Championships in Louisville, Ky., next weekend with a fifth-place finish overall in a field of 194 student-athletes in a personal best time of 29:15.0.
“First off, I am very happy with our team’s performance today,” Miller said. “I couldn’t be more proud of my boys and their ability to grit through the 10K race to make UMKC history. We want to set the standard for the future of our team and create a lasting tradition of success at the conference and regional level.
“As for my individual performance, I am feeling a lot of relief after this race. I have been frustrated with my cross country performances throughout my collegiate career, so being able to punch my ticket to Nationals allows me to take a deep breath. The work isn’t done yet, as the national meet is in a week. I cannot wait to run tough and duke it out with the rest of the country while representing Kansas City and the Roos!”
“Bryce finished his last cross country season with us by qualifying for nationals and that is impressive,” McField continued. “He is a tough kid – he is tenacious, dedicated and made for this sport. We are proud of the entire team and the work they have put in as well as the performances they put up this entire fall. Ending the season with a conference championship and then an NCAA qualifier – third student-athlete all-time and second male every to qualify – is exciting.”
Additionally, Miller’s six teammates that joined him on the course – Jason Fambrough (Raymore, Mo.), Quinlan Moll (Springfield, Mo.), Darrien Case (Parkville, Mo.), Marcus Johnson (Nixa, Mo.), Daylan Quinn (Mountain View, Mo.) and Nathan Keown (Columbia, Mo.) – each turned in a personal-best performance to help UMKC finish six spots higher than last season at the regional meet.
“Coming out and finishing seventh was a good way to cap off what’s been a historic season for us,” shared Moll. “We knew we had a good chance to finish higher than we ever had before and everyone gave their all to make that happen. I am proud of how we ran."
“It was a cold but eventful day for the men’s team,” said Johnson. “We had the best finish in school history and had an individual national qualifier. Now for most of us, the next thing to do is look forward to indoor and outdoor track season.”
On the women’s side, senior Chandler Carreon (Lake St. Louis, Mo.) finished first for UMKC in a field of 225 student-athletes with a personal best time of 20:57.4 to set the tone for the Roos. Teammate Sarah Fogarty (O’Fallon, Mo.) joined Carreon in the top-40 with a personal best of her own. Mia Jerman (Ste. Genevieve, Mo.), Elizabeth Nolke (Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Megan Mills (Nixa, Mo.) and Katherine Hanners (Jackson, Mo.) also battled for the Roos.
“Today we had the mentality of giving it all we had,” Carreon said. “At the regional meet, we have nothing to lose, so it’s fun to challenge ourselves and see how hard we can race. Today for the seniors, other than Bryce, it was our very last cross country meet. Everyone ran their hearts out today and I am proud to have been able to compete with this team, under the direction of our amazing coaches.”
Miller will have a week to prepare for the NCAA Division I Championships that will be hosted by the University of Louisville on Nov. 18.
– UMKC –