CROSS COUNTRY: NCAA II CHAMPIONSHIPS: Montalvo earns All America honors, MSU finishes 11th
A spot here or slip there may have resulted in Midwestern State achieving a season long goal Saturday afternoon in the NCAA Division II Championships at the Plantes Ferry Athletic Complex.
The Mustangs aimed for a Top 10 finish, but settled for an 11th-place showing just a point behind Queens (N.C.) with 373 total points.
"I feel like it's about right, but being so close will leave a sour taste in our mouths," MSU coach Koby Styles. "We return a lot of runners and gained a lot of valuable experience today. I told them I'm going to hang a bit '11' in the locker room as a motivating force."
The day was a gratifying one for senior front runner Brissia Montalvo, who became the second Midwestern runner to attain All America status by claiming a 27th finish. She posted a time of 22:06.90 - fifth best 6K time in school history - on a snowy, muddy track.
"I'm extremely happy and satisfied," the El Paso native said. "The course is always difficult and the cold makes it hard as is. The snow just changes everything, but we were prepared. I think snow or no snow; we would have done just as well."
Montalvo joins former MSU standout Katie Stepp, who gained All-America honors on a snowy course in Slippery Rock, Pa. back in 2008. Montalvo was the top South Central Region finisher at the meet outdistancing Missouri Southern's Marlee Teagenkamp (22:08.60/30th) and region champion Chloe Susset of Abilene Christian (22:55.00/59th).
"Brissia is a completely different runner from what she was coming in," Styles said. "She's become a leader and made improvements as a person. She wanted the team to jump on her shoulders and we knew if she was going to run well, everyone else was going to run well."
The 11th place national standing is the best in program history as the Mustangs were 15th in 2008 and closed 17th in the 2010 NCAA II Championship in Louisville, Ky.
"The girls left it all out on the course," Styles said. "Eleventh in the nation and regional conference champions. As of now, this is the best team in school history. We just need to keep moving up the ladder and we'll be competing for a national championship in no time."
Sophomore Ashley Flores finished 81st with a time of 23:19.4 followed by sophomore Janel Campbell (23:29.20/88th), freshman Michelle Krezonoski (23:45.90/102nd), freshman Kim Krezonoski (24:26.10/143d), junior Heather Owens (25:30.00/167th) and freshman Sara Cuba (25:32.10/171st).
Shippensburg (Pa.) senior Neely Spence claimed her second consecutive individual title finishing the 6K course in 20:53.80.
Augustana (S.D.) was crowned national champions with a total of 75 followed by Western State (Colo.) (79), Grand Valley State (Mich.) (104), Adams State (Colo.) (120), Mary (N.D.) (131), Alaska-Anchorage (152), Chico State (Calif.) (213), Ferris State (Mich.) (220), Shippensburg (Pa.) (256) and Queens (N.C.) (372) to round out the top 10.
WOMEN'S HOOPS: Mustangs knock off No. 11 Washburn, 68-53
Midwestern State spotted No. 11 Washburn (Kan.) the first nine points in the finale of the Ashbrook Classic Saturday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Then it was all Mustangs as MSU went on an extended 14-2 run to take a lead it would never relinquish in a 68-53 whipping of the previously unbeaten Lady Blues.
The win was Midwestern's first win over a ranked opponent since defeating then-No. 19 Angelo State on Feb. 19, 2004 as it was also the highest ranked opponent MSU has beaten since making the move to NCAA Division II prior to the 1996-97 season.
The Mustangs bounced back from Friday night's 97-96 loss to Central Missouri in double overtime to even their season record at 2-2.
The Mustangs used intense pressure to force Washburn into 24 turnovers which produced a commanding 22-5 edge in points off of turnovers, but it didn't look good early.
Washburn scored the first nine points of the game and led 9-0 when Stevie Shultz hit a layup at the 15:51 mark of the first half.
The Mustangs didn't score their first point until Shatoia Gober hit a runner in the lane with 14:55 to go in the opening half as part of a tradition three-point play
Sophomore forward Skyler Warrick followed with a pair of free throws then converted a tough layup in traffic to pull MSU within 9-7 at the 12:27 mark.
The Mustangs pulled even on a Kirsti Degelia transition layup before Washburn's Ebonie Williams ended the Lady Blues' 5-minute scoring drought with a jumper in the lane as WU led 11-9 with 10:10 to play in the first half.
It would be Washburn's last lead of the night.
MSU freshman Dianna Jones buried a trey on the ensuing possession to give the Mustangs the lead for good at 12-11 with 9:36 remaining in the first half.
Midwestern led by as many as eight points in the first half when Karissa Lang buried a trey to give the Mustangs a 25-17 advantage with 5:18 to go before intermission.
The Mustangs put the game away with an extended 25-8 run during a 7-minute stretch in the second half after Washburn pulled within 34-33 on a pair Laura McMullin free throws with 14:29 to play.
Carver culminated the run with a fast break jumper to give the Mustangs a 59-41 lead with 7:14 to play.
Senior forward Cierra Thompson paced Midwestern with 13 points and six rebounds while Degelia added 11 points and four assists. Carver added 10 points including a pair of 3-pointers.
Jones came off of the bench to scored nine points with two steals while Gober pitched in eight more points.
Williams led Washburn with 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting as the Lady Blues fell to 6-1 on the season.
Midwestern State (2-2) takes on East Central (Okla.) Tuesday night at Kerr Center in Ada. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.
Men's Basketball: Mustangs take Al Kaly Classic with 70-56 win over CSU-Pueblo