JOPLIN, Mo. – The Fort Hays State men's cross country team turned in a fourth-place finish at the 2019 MIAA Championships Saturday (Oct. 26) at the Tom Rutledge Cross Country Course on the campus of Missouri Southern State University. The top five runners for the Tigers accumulated 111 points, including a pair of All-MIAA performances from Seppe van 't Westende and Israel Barco.

Van 't Westende was the first Tiger across the line, completing the eight-kilometer course in a personal-best 25:10.8, good for 12th place. Barco also earned a spot on the all-conference podium after his 18th-place finish, crossing the line in 25:19.5. Robbie Schmidt traversed the course in 25:32.5 to finish 25th. Justin Moore (25:33.2, 26th) and Peter Franklin (25:39.5) also turned in personal-best times to round out the Tiger top five.

Missouri Southern won the conference title with 35 points after placing six runners in the top 17. MSSU's Gidieon Kimutai took home the individual title after crossing the line in 23:37.3.

The Tigers will return to Joplin in two weeks when MSSU hosts the NCAA Division II Central Region Championships on Saturday, November 9. The men's 10K race is set to commence at 11:15 a.m.