Today we will give results from the three cross country championships we hosted recently, but really our intent is to focus on something more significant and related to this time of the year, Thanksgiving.

Congratulations to Missouri Southern men and Pittsburg State women for their MIAA Conference Championships a couple of weeks ago. Gidieon Kimutai won the men’s individual championship while Caroline Cunningham of Northwest Missouri won the women’s title.

Also, Ozark Christian College finished second at the NCCAA National Championship held on the campus of MSSU. Bob Jones University repeated as both the NCCAA D2 men’s & women’s champions while Grace College swept the D1 team titles. Maranatha Baptist University’s Jeremy Fopma won his fourth straight NCCAA D2 men’s cross country individual championship.

The third and final cross country race was the NCAA D2 Central Region Championships and the Missouri Southern men won the regional title with Gidieon Kimutai winning the individual championship. Pittsburg State women finished second in the women’s championships while Lindsey Cunningham of Winona State won the individual title. Both squads qualified for the National Championship to be held on December 3rd in Seattle, Washington. Good luck to both the Lions and the Gorillas.

As for Thanksgiving, for many of us, we plan on spending the day with family and friends celebrating in our own special way. For most of us, it involves exorbitant amounts of food, whether it is turkey or ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy as well as a variety of casseroles or, if you are from one of the Northern states, like myself, “hot dishes.”

The day normally includes family & friends, some NFL football (Go Lions, Cowboys and Vikings!) and a few indoor and outdoor games. True to my tradition, the indoor and outdoor family games will inevitably cause someone to end up in tears, and yes it normally is me.

Finally, we wrap up the day with a Hallmark movie or a Thanksgiving movie such as “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” “Grumpy Old Men” or “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” We do this all while eating our fourth meal of the day with leftovers.

We certainly hope that everyone has a wonderful time, and it is important for us at the Joplin Sports Authority to give our share of thanks as well.

We want to start by thanking you, the Joplin community. We want to thank you for being so supportive of our mission to bring sporting events to our city and region.

Without your support in assisting us with this, none of these events and activities would be possible. Your support comes in many ways including financial, volunteering at our activities, attending our sporting events, and giving us leads to sports we can support. We want to thank you for all you do to make the Joplin community a destination that visiting teams and fans want to come to.

By creating such an inviting community, it allows our businesses to thrive while also leaving wonderful memories for our visiting friends. So, thank you first and foremost.

We also need to thank the local businesses and sponsors for all they do as well. Without their dedication and hard work, we wouldn’t be able to complete our mission as well.

Again, a complete list of our numerous sponsors can be found on our website at.

Finally, we need to thank the Joplin hotels and Joplin City Hall for their support of our organization. Their vision, many years ago, to create this organization has allowed us to become the successful sports commission that we are today. The continued support each year from city council, city management and the Joplin hoteliers has made all the difference for us and for our local economy.

Now pass the creamed corn hot dish.

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