Bowling Green, Ky. – Seth Farmer and Marissa Smith both won their respective Mid-South Conference Runner of the Year awards leading Shawnee State to sweep the Mid-South Conference Championships on Saturday in Bowling Green.
Farmer finished in first place by 14 seconds ahead of Campbellsville’s Bret Crawford, finishing with a time of 25:24.4. SSU also had Steven Adams place in the top five, finishing fifth overall with a time of 26:05.0. Three more Bears finished in the top 10: Hunter Hoover (sixth place, 26:11.6), Owen Reeher (seventh place, 26:13.7) and Josh Metzung (10th place, 26:25.5). Overall, Shawnee State scored 29 points, 26 ahead of second place Campbellsville, finishing with a combined time of 2:10:20.
Marissa Smith led the Shawnee State women to the Mid-South Championship by finishing in first place, running the race in 19:01.3. SSU also had second and third place locked down, with Jessica Price (19:20.9) and Jessica Cook (19:29.8) placing second and third respectively. Mallory Spencer’s time of 20:01.7 was good enough to place her in the top 10 at 10th; Shaniah Begley was SSU’s final scorer, placing 15th with a time of 20:18.5. SSU’s combined time of 1:38.13 was over one minute ahead of second place Cumberland (Tenn.), and the Bears scored 31 points, 13 ahead of the Phoenix.
The Mid-South Conference Championships continue SSU’s dominance of the Mid-South Conference since the Bears joined the league in 2010. Shawnee State’s men have won the Mid-South Conference in eight of nine seasons since joining the league, and have won three straight. Shawnee State’s women have been even better, winning nine conference championships in a row since 2010. The women’s streak is now one season short of matching Cumberlands (Ky.) league record of 10 conference championships in a row, set from 1996-2005.
In addition to Farmer and Smith’s Runner of the Year awards, SSU brought home a number of other awards. Eric Putnam was named Mid-South Conference Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year. SSU also had Jessica Cook win Mid-South Conference Women’s Cross Country Freshman of the Year as the top finishing freshman of the meet. SSU had five athletes win MSC All-Academic; Brooke Smith, Marissa Smith and Mallory Spencer for the women, TJ Hoggard and Chris Parsons for the men.
Both of SSU’s teams punched their tickets to the NAIA Cross Country National Championships, to be held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on November 17.