Mizzou hosts DI Midwest XC Regional Friday @ Gans Creek

The University of Missouri and the City of Columbia will host the 2022 NCAA Division I Cross Country Midwest Regional on Friday, November 11 at Gans Creek. The meet is one of nine regional meets across the country Friday that will help determine which teams will advance to the national championships, which will be held on Saturday, November 19 at Oklahoma State in Stillwater.

The Midwest Region is made up of all Division I schools in the states of Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Thirty-five women's teams and 30 men's teams will compete in Columbia.

The meet will be held at the 3-year-old Gans Creek Cross Country Course at Gans Creek Recreation Area on Columbia's south side. The meet will be the biggest collegiate race at the facility in it's short history, and should hold that title for the next two years. Many teams across the country will likely make the trip to COMO in the 2025 regular season to see the course leading up to the 2025 NCAA National Championship which will be held there.

The two-top finishing teams at regionals will automatically qualify for nationals. The top-4 racers not only a qualifying team will earn automatic individual national berths, as long as they finished in the top-25. Thirteen additional teams will be selected as at-large qualifiers for nationals. Those berths are handed out based on regional finish and a scoring system that gives teams points for beating good competition during the season.

So, the top 3, 4, or more finishing teams could advance to nationals, as well as top-4 finishing athletes not on those qualifying teams. Individual automatic berths could go to athletes finishing as high as 20-25th, depending on how many teams get berths. Two individuals per gender will be selected to receive at-large national's berths across the nine regions. Those are given out to runners who are the closest to the final automatic qualifier among the regions. Additional berths may be given out to get a full, maximum field of 255 athletes.

This is the first NCAA meet for the gorgeous Gans Creek Cross Country Course, with the 2025 NCAA Division I National Championships the next one schedule. Many more regionals and national meets should follow.

The Women's 6k race starts at 11:00 a.m. with the men's 10k following at noon. The awards will follow at the Greg Hall Champions Plaza. The top-25 finishers will earn All-Region honors and medals.

Of the 34 women's teams slated to race, two are currently in the USTFCCCA (coaches association) poll top-30. Oklahoma State is 3rd while Northwestern sits 30th. In the regional rankings, OSU and Northwestern sit 1-2 in the Midwest rankings with Iowa State 3rd, Bradley 4th, Minnesota 5th, Illinois 6th, Tulsa 7th, Loyola 8th, Nebraska 9th, and North Dakota State 10th. Oklahoma is 11th, Missouri 12th, Iowa 13th, Kansas State 14th, and South Dakota State getting the final spot at 15th.

The 30 men's teams will move up to the 10k distance for the first time on the season. In the current men's national rankings, three teams make the top-30. Oklahoma State sits at 4th, with Tulsa close back at 6th. Iowa State sits at 27th. In the Midwest Regional rankings, the three nationally ranked teams are followed by #4 South Dakota State, #5 Loyola, #6 Bradley, #7 Drake, #8 Wichita State, #9 Kansas State, #10 Illinois, #11 Iowa, #12 Kansas, #13 Eastern Illinois, #14 North Dakota State, and #15 Missouri.

For more on the meet, the course, and it's participants, stay tuned, this article is being updated.