Ozark Christian College and the Joplin Sports Authority are the hosts for the NCCAA Cross Country National Championships today..

The races are being held at the Seneca R-7 Cross Country Course, 2012 Highway U in Seneca. Fans are welcome, and admission is $5 per vehicle.

Champions will be determined in four divisions — Division I men and women and Division II men and women.

Both men’s 8,000-meter races will be run concurrently starting at 10 a.m., and the two women’s 5K races will start at 11. Awards ceremonies in all divisions will follow the women’s race.

The event has attracted more than 200 runners.

Ozark Christian, coached by Jeremy Butler, has men’s and women’s teams entered in the Division II races.

The Ambassadors’ entries for the men’s race are Cooper Allmoslecher, Jesse Chavez, Eli Connatser, Dakota Gayer, Noah Phillips, Joseph Potts, Haddon Spikereit, Timothy Vaipan and Ben Harris.

The OCC women’s runners: Natalee Connatser, Larissa Carey, Natalee gann, Jordyn Patterson, Emma Stein, Bethany Wood and Charis Trusty.

There are five team entries in men’s Division II, four teams in women’s Division II, eight in men’s Division I and five in women’s Division I. Sixteen more schools have sent individual entries among the four races.

New champions will be crowned in all four races.

Cedarville swept the Division I team titles in 2019 but is not entered this year. Bob Jones University has won the men’s Division II title the last four years but is not coming this year. And Moody Bible has won the Division II women’s title seven straight years, but it has a single entry this year.

The NCCAA began its men’s cross country championships in 1973, and a women’s race was added in 1981. The field was split into two divisions in 2013.

This meet was scheduled to be held in the Branson area as the start of a three-year agreement, but it was moved to Joplin in August.

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