By Chris Webber
Jan Lukas Becker, a standout member of the Mississippi College Cross Country team, has been named the 2023 Men’s South Region Runner of the Year following his victory at the 2023 South Region Cross Country Championships with a time of 29:21.3 over 9,800 meters.
Defending his title from last year’s South Region Cross Country Championships, in which he set a 10K course record of 30:40.3, Becker has shown consistent excellence throughout the 2023 season. His performance in the postseason further solidified his status as a top competitor, with a runner-up finish at the Gulf South Conference Cross Country Championships and a record-breaking 8K run at The Watson Collegiate Cross Country Classic, where he set a new Mississippi College record at 23:29.8. Additionally, Becker’s performance at the Watson Collegiate Cross Country Classic earned him the USTFCCCA National Runner of the Week, a first in the program’s history.
Becker’s achievements have not only earned him individual accolades but have also played a significant role in leading the Choctaws to a third-place team finish, securing their spot at the 2023 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships in Joplin, Missouri.
The Mississippi College women’s team also qualified for the championships, marking a successful season for Choctaw cross country.