Iowa Central, New Mexico JC Crowned NJCAA ITF Champs

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PITTSBURG, Kan. – When the dust settled at the Robert W. Plaster Center on the campus of Pittsburg State University, the Iowa Central men and the New Mexico JC women stood tall as 2017 NJCAA Indoor Track & Field team champions.

It just so happens that the Tritons and Thunderbirds were the top-ranked teams in the Pre-Championship Edition of the NJCAA National Team Computer Rankings that were released right before the championships took place in The Sunflower State.

Iowa Central faced stiff competition from South Plains (Texas), but ultimately held the foe off. The Tritons scored 124 points to the Texans’ 104.5. Barton County (Kan.) CC finished a distant 3rd with 70.5 points.

What led to Iowa Central’s victory? Well, the Tritons had three individual national champions (Jared Seay, heptathlon; Odaine Lewis, triple jump; Sterling Mungro, weight throw) and also saw its DMR win gold. Iowa Central also rolled in the mid-distance and distance events as multiple men scored in the 1000, mile, 3000 and 5000.

Over in the women’s competition, New Mexico JC had its hands full trying to hold off Iowa Central. The Thunderbirds eventually won the team title, but it wasn’t easy as they scored 121 points to the Tritons’ 116.

South Plains (Texas) took 3rd with 73 points, while Barton Count (Kan.) notched 70.

New Mexico JC took control of the meet thanks to a 1-2-3 finish in the triple jump Latavia Coombs won the individual title and watched as teammates Tamara Moncrieffe and Hanifah Abdul-Qadir finish 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

Coombs had quite the meet as she won the triple jump, took 2nd in both the 60 hurdles and pentathlon, 3rd and in the long jump and 6th in the high jump.

Esther Gitahi brought home multiple individual titles for the Thunderbirds as she won the mile (5:06.70) and the 3000 (10:11.25).