JOPLIN, Mo. – The Pittsburg State and Missouri Southern cross country teams compete in the 13th annual Missouri Southern Stampede on Saturday.
On the women’s side, teams from 26 schools competed. Pitt State finishes 9th as a team, while the Missouri Southern women place 17th.
For the men, Missouri southern athletes lock up the first and second place spots. Ryan Riddle wins the individual title, finishing the 8K race in 24 minutes 14 seconds.
“The last mile I really started to kick it in,” says MSSU junior Ryan Riddle. “I heard a lot of the home crowd screaming for me, so I was trying to do it for them and get a dub.”
Pittsburg State’s Bryce Grahn also finishes in the top five. Grahn places fourth with a personal best time of 24 minutes 39.88 seconds.
“The best feeling though was when I crossed and I turned around and I saw Diego Contreras come in and then I just kept seeing Pitt jerseys,” says PSU redshirt senior Bryce Grahn. “At that time I figured we had won it. When I saw five boys laying around on the ground, I said we had it done.”
Grahn’s finish helps lift Pittsburg State to a team victory. The Gorilla men win the MSSU Stampede with a score of 53 points.
“It’s special to run for Pitt but it’s even more special to win for Pitt,” Grahn says. “To come out this morning and do our thing, it’s really euphoric right now.”
The Lions finish as runners up with 74 team points.
“These are all younger guys stepping up huge for us,” Riddle says. “Seeing them progress throughout these last couple years and seeing the new guys doing so well early on is great. It’s going to be really great for our team later on.”
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