JOPLIN, Mo. — A staple cross country event for the region returned to Missouri Southern State University’s campus Saturday morning. The Southern Stampede was canceled last year due to COVID, but it was back and roaring this year.
In the university women’s 5K-, West Texas A&M’s Florence Uwajeneza took first place with a time of 16:43.52. Overall, the University or Arkansas won the university women’s 5K. Pittsburg State University placed ninth, and Missouri Southern took 17th.
On the men’s side, Pittsburg State took first place overall, while Missouri Southern took second.
Southern’s Ryan Riddle took first place in the university men’s 8K with a time of 24:14.00.
Riddle says, “Motivation for me is probably the hardest thing. I can do all the training, 90, 100 miles a week. It’s pretty easy for that. But coming out here when it’s warm, and there’s a lot of pressure for you to do well for your team, program, city, I just try to stay calm, keep it within myself and execute my race.”
Jamie Burnham, Missouri Southern head distance coach, says, “I really like the way Ryan ran today. He was really patient. He didn’t try to go out and lead it the whole way. He just set in and waited until the last mile, then he made his move, and i think that really made a difference for him today.”
Riddle was closely followed by Southern’s JP Rutledge, who clocked in at 24:23.16. Rounding out the top four was Pittsburg State’s Bryce Grahn, with a time of 24:39.88.