SIU's men's cross country team won a share of the 2004 State Farm MVC Championship
Oct. 30, 2004
By Jeff Honza
CARBONDALE, Ill. - For the first time in 44 years, two men's teams shared the Missouri Valley Conference cross country title earlier today when Southern Illinois and Indiana State tied for first at the 2004 State Farm MVC Championships. On the women's side, the Salukis took second behind Southwest Missouri State, who won its fourth consecutive MVC Championship.
Windy conditions didn't stop SIU from living up to its pre-championship billing on its own course. Joe Byrne, Diarmuid Grant and Eli Baker each garnered all-conference honors to lift the Dawgs to their first MVC Championship since 1995.
Right with the Salukis, however, was INS, who made things even more interesting.
After being ranked third in the pre-championship poll, the Sycamores, aided by all-conference performers Aaron Harding, Jordan Fife and Sean Bowman, collected 48 points to force the first tie in a MVC Championship since 1960. That year, Drake and Wichita State each compiled 59 points.
Drake (77 pts), picked second prior to this year's championship, finished third, as Bulldog runner Bobby Anderson finished first to take home the Valley's Athlete of the Meet/Year honor.
Rounding out the men's race were SMS (88 pts.), WSU (127 pts.), Evansville (182 pts.), Northern Iowa (192 pts.), Creighton (194 pts.), Bradley (222 pts.) and Illinois State (232 pts.).
Meanwhile, on the women's side, near-unanimous pre-championship favorite SMS (38 pts.), placed four runners in the top-10, including individual champion and MVC Athlete of the Meet/Year Casey Owens. Owens ran a 5K time of 17:53.75 to win her second title in three years.
Like SMS, SIU also finished where it was predicted to before this year's meet. All-conference honorees Brittani Christensen (18:16.42) and Lindsay Wagner (18:32.63) helped the Dawgs accumulate 60 tallies for the runner-up honor. Christensen placed fifth, while Wagner took eighth.
WSU (88 pts.), ILS (115 pts.), INS (153 pts.), CU (173 pts.), BU (184 pts.), DU (203 pts.), UNI (232 pts.) and UE (246 pts.) finished off the women's race.
* All-Conference honors are given to the first 10 individuals who finish each race. Click on the results link above to view.