Women’s cross country seventh in preseason poll

By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Fort Hays State women’s cross country team was picked seventh in the 2021 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll, released Friday (Aug. 27) by the league office.

Fort Hays State received 84 points in the voting process, 11 behind sixth-place Northwest Missouri State and 15 clear of eighth-place Missouri Western. Pittsburg State tops the poll with 128 points thanks to six first-place votes, with Central Missouri close behind with two first-place selections and 121 points. Missouri Southern came in third, while Washburn picked up three first-place votes and settled in fourth. Nebraska-Kearney received the final first-place selection and is fifth.

Despite not having a single senior on the roster according to their athletic eligibility, the Tigers return a veteran squad that includes eight student-athletes that competed for the 2019 team that finished sixth at the MIAA Championships. All-MIAA performers Brooke Navarro and Abigail Stewart highlight the group and are joined by Emily Salmans, Carson Pierce, Mya Navarro, Tabitha Stowers, Hannah Wiebe and Faith Little.

The Tigers have finished sixth or better at the league meet every year since 2013, including three finishes in the top three and a runner-up finish in 2017.

Head coach Dr. Jason McCullough is entering his 17th year as the head cross country coach. He’s led 57 runners to All-MIAA status and 20 runners to All-Region honors since his start in 2005.

McCullough will get a sneak peek at his team in action this evening when the Tigers run in the FHSU Sand Plum Alumni Open. The exhibition five-kilometer race is set to begin at 7 p.m. at the Sand Plum Nature Trail in Victoria, Kan. The regular season will kick off on Friday, September 3 when FHSU travels to Kearney, Neb. for the UNK Invitational. The Tigers will run at home once in the regular season when they host the FHSU Tiger Open on Saturday, October 9 beginning at 9 a.m.

2021 MIAA Women’s Cross Country Coaches Poll
1. Pittsburg State – 128 points (6 first-place votes)
2. Central Missouri – 121 points (2)
3. Missouri Southern – 116 points
4. Washburn – 112 points (3)
5. Nebraska-Kearney – 108 points (1)
6. Northwest Missouri State – 95 points
7. Fort Hays State – 84 points
8. Missouri Western – 69 points
9. Emporia State – 55 points
10. Central Oklahoma – 36 points
11. Lincoln – 35 points
12. Rogers State – 32 points
13. Newman – 23 points

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