Sept. 14, 2010
ST. LOUIS - This week's State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Athletes of the Week are Ryan Witters of Evansville and Southern Illinois' Emily Toennies.
Competing in her first race of the 2010 season, Toennies was in mid-season form with a second-place finish at the EIU Panther Open with a time of 18:05.11 in the 6K race. The senior from New Baden, Ill., trailed only North Dakota's Lindsay Anderson - a former standout at Iowa - while defeating fellow teammate Megan Hoelscher, all-OVC honoree Olivia Klaus (EIU), and all-Great West second team member Katherine Enabnit (UND).
Also nominated for male athlete was Lucas Cherry, who provided a second straight top-five finish in as many weeks into the 2010 season, placing third at the EIU Panther Open in Charleston, Ill., with a time of 25:48.87 on Eastern Illinois' 8K course.
The MVC also saw a combined seven teams ranked in the regional polls on both the men's and women's sides. On the men's side, Southern Illinois, Illinois State, and Drake hold the 10th, 12th, and 13th spots, respectively, in the Midwest Region, while Indiana State sits in sixth in the Great Lakes.
Meanwhile, three women's squads - Wichita State, Illinois State, and Missouri State - each maintain a spot in the Midwest Region poll.