Missouri Southern State University will host the 2023 NCAA Division II Cross Country National Championships Saturday in Joplin. The school will host the meet for the fifth time as they also played hosts in 1999, 2007, 2012, and 2015.
Missouri Southern's on-campus course has hosted many conference and regional championships and the AAU Championships over the last three decades and hosts the annual Missouri Southern Stampede that attracts thousands of high school and college athletes the third weekend of September every year.
The course was renamed the Tom Rutledge Cross Course about a decade ago, after the longtime Missouri Southern men's cross country and track coach. Rutledge led the Lions to a 12th-place finish at the 2007 national championships in Joplin, with Dustin Dixon and Isaac Garcia earning All-America Honors with their 23rd and 35th-place finishes.
The meet kicks off Saturday with the women's 6k at 10:00 a.m. while the men's 10k follows at 11:15 a.m.
Missouri Southern hosted the Central Region meet on Saturday, November 4, where national berths were determined.
Missouri and MIAA or GLVC teams that qualified include the Pittsburg State and Northwest Missouri men, the Pittsburg State, Missouri Southern, and Lewis University women.
Individual qualifiers from the MIAA and GLVC are Missouri Southern's Gideon Kimutai, Central Missouri's Brian Mitei, Washburn's David and Donald Kibet, Missouri-St. Louis' Benjamin Vandenbrink, Illinois-Springfield's Cortland Ross and Noah McIntyre on the men's side.
On the women's side, Fort Hays State's Regan Hodsden is the lone individual qualifier from either of the two conferences that Missouri schools compete in, the MIAA and GLVC.