A fourth-straight Lone Star Conference championship can't be a bad warm-up for 12th-ranked Midwestern State's postseason push.
The Mustangs rolled to the title by placing four runners on the all-conference squad and had five of the first 16 runners to cross the finish line to amass 43 total points to easily outpace West Texas A&M (87), Angelo State (103), Abilene Christian (106) and Eastern New Mexico (111) in a hotly contested race for second.
"We ran a little stiff and sluggish today," MSU coach Koby Styles said. "We trained through this race and it showed, but our main goals are for regionals and nationals. This is just one of the check boxes, but it's not the end of the road."
The sluggishness didn't show in senior front-runner Brissia Montalvo, who grasped the lead a mile into the 6K course at Red Arroyo Park and sailed to an 11-second win with a program record time of 21:40.00.
"Brissia ran a very, very smart and tactical race," Styles said. "Once she took the lead, she never looked back. I'm so proud of how well she's come along over the last couple of years. She is a very deserving winner."
Montalvo becomes MSU's second LSC individual champion joining former teammate Sydnee Cole, who accomplished the feat in 2009 at West Texas A&M.
Joining Montalvo on as All-LSC performers are sophomore Ashley Flores (22:26.00/6th), sophomore Janel Campbell (22:30.00/8th) and freshman Michelle Krezonoski (22:41.00/12th) while fellow freshman Kim Krezonoski closed out the Mustangs' counters finishing 16th with a time of 23:25.00.
Freshman Sara Cuba (23:46.00/23rd) and junior Heather Owens (24:04.00/31st) did the spacing honors for MSU, while junior Melody Caldwell clocked a 24:10.00 to finish 32nd and senior Lindsey Pate logged a 25:16.00 to finish 53rd.
The Mustangs have now won championships in four of the five seasons since Styles took over the reins of the program in 2007.
"We have three goals and they are to win conference, win regionals and finish in the Top 10 at nationals," Styles said. "There's one scratched out and now we move on to the next one."
Midwestern State plays host to the NCAA Division II South Central Region Championships in two weeks at the former Hawk Ridge Golf Course in Wichita Falls.
Midwestern State blitzed Texas A&M-Kingsville 25-19, 25-10, 31-29 for its third consecutive Lone Star Conference win Saturday afternoon at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
"We were just clicking on all cylinders today," MSU coach Venera Flores-Stafford said. "We were looking for revenge. We got them on our home court and we took care of business."