JOPLIN, Mo. (MSSU Cross Country Course) -- Led by a career-best 6,000-meter time by senior Tina Larson (Morris, Minn.), the Bemidji State University cross country team placed 23rd at the 2012 NCAA Division II Central Regional in Joplin, Mo. Saturday.
The Beavers completed the race in an average time of 25.14.8, as all seven of BSU's runners posted their best times of the season.
Larson shaved nearly 30 seconds from her previous career-best (25:12) recording a 24.45.6 to finish 140th among the field of 179 finishers in the final race of her collegiate career. Fellow senor Michelle Oman (Prior Lake, Minn.) placed 148th with a time of 25:03.9, while Taylor Soutine (Jr., Tamarack, Minn.) was 13 seconds behind in 151st place (25:16.1) and Emily Turner (Fr., Bingham Lake, Minn.) turned in a time of 25:29.9 to take 156th. Junior Mackenzie Haupert (Andover, Minn.) rounded out the Bemidji State team score in 158th place with a time of 25:36.5.
Recording a team score of 719, BSU finished 691 points behind regional champion Augustana College, which posted a score of 28 after three of its top five runners placed among the top five individuals in the race.
Twelve Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) team competed in the regional featuring teams from the NSIC the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) and the Great American Conference (GAC), and accounted for five of the top 10 teams to finish the 28-squad competition. Augustana (28), Winona State University (108) and University of Mary (149), which finished as the top three teams, each qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championship meet to be held on the same course in Joplin, Mo. Nov. 17.
Augustana’s Runa Falch was the first to cross the finish line, logging a time of 20:39.4 to finish nearly ten seconds in front of her teammate Leah Black (20:49.0), who captured runner up honors.
The Central Regional race marks the end of Bemidji State's 2012 season and the collegiate cross country careers of seniors Larson and Oman.
For more information on the Bemidji State cross country program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).