Springfield, Mo. -- The Creighton men's cross country team finished eighth at the Missouri Valley Conference Championships at the Missouri State Cross Country Course in Springfield, Mo. on Saturday. The women finished 10th. Nine Valley schools compete in men's cross country while all 10 compete on the women's side. The women were picked to finish in a tie for ninth place in the pre-championship poll, while the men were picked correctly at eighth.
The men's team was led for the first time this year by sophomore Jared Dittman who finished 30th with a time of 26:42 in the 8K race. The time was an improvement of almost a minute over Dittman's time at the MVC Championships last year. There were 68 total runners in the event that was won by Jeff Shirmer of Southern Illinois who ran the course in 24:34. The Salukis also won the team title with a team score of 37, just ahead of second-place Indiana State (40).
The second-best finisher for the Jays was freshman Stephen Van Gampleare. He finished 39th with a time of 27:00. Next came freshman Chris Culhane in 48th. His time was 27:28. Freshman Casey Jergenson finished 61st with a time of 28:54 and fellow freshman Chris Boitano finished 64th in 29:26 to round out the scoring for the Bluejays.
The Creighton women were led by junior Molly Jergenson. She finished 44th with a time of 19:38 in the 5K race. Jergenson has led the Jays in all seven events of the year. There were 75 runners in the women's race. The competition was won by Pasca Cheruiyot of Missouri State, who ran the course in a time of 16:57. Wichita State had 59 points to beat host Missouri State (71) for the women's crown.
The next-best finsher for Creighton was sophomore Aubrey Inman who finished 61st. She ran the race in 20:40. Three runners rounded out the scoring for the Jays. Freshman Ally Lynn finished 64th with a time of 20:57; sophomore Carleen O'Brien finished 68th in 21:08; and senior Mary Foley finished 69th with a time of 21:18 in her final MVC Championship.