Central graduate runs to nationals

Thursday, November 8, 2012
Former Central athlete Eric Schott, center, qualified with his teammates for the Division II national cross country meet to be held Nov. 17 in Joplin, Mo. (Submitted photo)

Eric Schott has followed up his impressive freshman collegiate cross country season with an even better sophomore campaign.

Schott, a 2011 Central High School graduate, led Missouri Southern to a berth in the NCAA Division II national championship meet that the Lions will host Nov. 17 in Joplin, Mo.

Missouri Southern finished second in Saturday's Central Regional meet, which they also hosted, to earn the national berth.

Schott led the Lions with a fifth-place finish to capture all-region honors.

"This is what we trained for all year. It just feels great right now," Schott told the Joplin Globe. "We wanted to go out as a team and really push that first mile, kind of establish being up front and try to break a lot of those people early on. As it went on, we kind of faded a little bit as a pack, but we still stayed together pretty well."

Schott, a former Central standout in both cross country and track and field, has built quite a collegiate running resume in less than two years.

Schott was the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association freshman of the year for cross country last season when he finished ninth at the MIAA meet.

He also placed 22nd at the South Central Regional to earn all-region honors and was named to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team.

Schott then had a strong freshman season in track and field, placing fourth in the 5,000 meters and sixth in the 3,000 meters at the MIAA indoor meet, followed by an eighth-place finish outdoors in the 5,000.

Schott was third in this year's MIAA cross country meet, which he followed up with his fifth-place regional performance.

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