Rebounding from a disappointing showing at the MIAA Championships, Northwest Missouri State senior Brittany Poole claimed one of the three individual qualifying spots for the Division II National Meet with a seventh place finish at Saturday's Central Region Meet in Joplin.
The top finisher from the MIAA, Poole covered the 6K course in a career-best time of 21:24.1. This was 1:23 faster than her time at the MIAA Championships in Maryville where she finished eighth.
An All-American in the 3000M Steeplechase last spring, Poole is the lone Northwest team member who will return to Joplin Saturday for the Division II National Meet.
As a team, the Bearcat women did not keep up with their senior teammate, finishing right where they were ranked in 10th place with 276 points. The men finished in seventh place with a team score of 234.
A top five finish on the women's side and a top four finish on the men's side was required to advance to the national meet.
Northwest's top men's finisher was senior Ryan Darling in 20th place with a time of 30:53.99.
The next three Bearcat runners all finished between 50th and 54th.
Senior Jared Walker and sophomore Drew Keefer were the 50th and 51st place finishers. Senior Jake Henry landed in 54th place. Freshman Nolan Zimmer's 68th place finish completed the team scoring.
After Poole, the next best women's finisher was senior Jordan Esry in 40th place with a time of 22:30.12.
Sophomore Anne Herbert, a 12th place finisher at the MIAA Championships, came in 48th with a time of 22:38.94.
Augustana (S.D.) swept the men's and women's titles.
Missouri Southern finished second in the men's race. Southwest Baptist was fourth, earning the final national qualifying spot, and MIAA champion Fort Hays State placed fifth.
Second through fifth in the women's race went to Winona State, University of Mary, Missouri Southern and Pittsburg State.