By Jim Henry
Globe Sports Editor
The MIAA women’s cross country championship that Missouri Southern won in October in Maryville was the Lions’ 43rd conference championship in school history.
After becoming a four-year school for the start of the 1968-69 school year, the Lions played as an independent for seven years.
Then in 1976, the Lions were part of the new Central States Intercollegiate Conference along with sister school Missouri Western, Kansas schools Pittsburg State, Washburn, Emporia State and Fort Hays State and Nebraska schools Kearney State and Wayne State.
Missouri Southern remained in the CSIC for a dozen years, juggling its league slate with an NAIA District 16 schedule.
Then Missouri Southern, along with Pittsburg State, Missouri Western and Washburn, left the CSIC and joined the NCAA Division II ranks and became a member of the MIAA for the 1989-90 school year.
Three more CSIC members eventually joined the MIAA — Emporia State (1991), Fort Hays State (2006) and Nebraska-Kearney (2012).
The Lions won a total of 11 CSIC championships, and they have 32 MIAA titles to date.
The first conference title came in the CSIC’s inaugural year when the Lions’ football team shared first place with Kearney State.
The Lions’ golf team claimed the most CSIC titles — three straight in 1983, 1984 and 1985.
The basketball teams each won or shared two titles — the men’s team in 1978 and 1981 and the women’s team in 1985 and 1986.
Other CSIC championships were won by the tennis team in 1980, volleyball team in 1984 and baseball team in 1986.
Almost half of the Lions’ MIAA championships have come in cross country. The men’s team has eight titles since the turn of the century — 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. The women’s team won its first MIAA title in 1998 and won four straight from 2996 through 2006 in addition to this year’s crown.
There are another six league championships in track and field — men’s indoor in 2004 and 2007, women’s indoor in 2004 and 2008 and women’s outdoor in 2008 and 2009.
The Lions’ softball team won five titles in an 11-year span — 1990, 1992, 1993, 1998 and 2001.
The baseball team won back-to-back titles in 1991 and 1992.
The men’s basketball team captured regular-season championships in 2000 and 2001. The Lions also won postseason tournament titles in 1993 and 2000, giving them automatic NCAA Tournament berths.
Other MIAA championships came in football (1993), men’s soccer (1997) and tennis (1999).
The women’s basketball team does not have an MIAA regular-season title, but the Lions did win the postseason tournament in 1994 and 1996.