WEEKEND IN REVIEW: October 25-27
While teams from NCAA Division II vied for league glory on Conference Championships Weekend, teams from the NAIA and teams from the NJCAA made their final postseason push at either the largest regular-season meet of the season or their respective regional championship.
From The USTFCCCA InfoZone: Meets & Results
Allow us to take you through what happened as those from the NAIA and NJCAA took to the course as a majority of NCAA Division I and NCAA Division III athletes rested ahead of their own Conference Championships Weekend.
NAIA Great Lakes Challenge
When there are 22 nationally-ranked programs in one meet, you better believe there is going to be some good racing to go around.
Such was that case Saturday morning at the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge hosted by Aquinas College.
In the men’s race, No. 9 Taylor (Ind.) edged No. 6 Indiana Wesleyan by just two points for the team title. Talk about a close race! The Trojans went 5-8-10-22-26 for 71 points, while the Wildcats came through in 3-6-15-17-32 for 73 points.
Look closer at the scoring and you’ll see that it once again came down to the fifth runners. Indiana Wesleyan led 41 to 45 before Taylor (Ind.)’s Alex Helmuth crossed the finish line in 26th place, six spots better than Steven Ott, the Wildcats’ capper.
No. 11 Shawnee State finished third in the team standings with 121 points, while No. 12 Huntington (Ind.) took fourth with 156 points and No. 10 Olivet Nazarene rounded out the top-5 in fifth with 166 points. St. Francis (Ill.), the top-ranked team in the field coming into the meet at No. 5 nationally, finished sixth.
The women’s race wasn’t as close as No. 2 Madonna (Mich.) rolled to a 70-107 win over host No. 8 Aquinas (Mich.). The Crusaders, who were No. 1 in the NAIA National Coaches’ Poll for a few weeks, put four runners in the top-16, led by Alison Shapic in fourth place.
Aquinas (Mich.) came into the meet ranked as the fifth best team in the field, but beat three squads billed ahead of itself in the most recent National Coaches’ Poll. The Saints went 7-9-20-33-38 for their 107 points.
No. 4 St. Francis (Ill.) and No. 5 Taylor (Ind.) finished third and fourth in the team standings, respectively, while No. 14 Southeastern (Fla.) impressed with a fifth-place finish despite not having a runner in the top-15 individually.
NJCAA Region XI Championship Meet
Iowa Central CC swept the proceedings at the Region XI Championship Meet.
The Triton women and men, who entered the competition ranked first and third, respectively, in the most recent NJCAA Division I National Coaches’ Polls, cruised to victory against Iowa Western CC by nearly identical scores. The women won 20-53 while the men earned a 23-50 victory.
Individual titles went Iowa Central CC’s way as well: Awet Yohannes topped Shawn Kiptoo of Iowa Western CC by less than one second for the men’s crown, while Winrose Chesang beat Faith Chepengat by 11 seconds for the women’s version in a battle of the reigning National Athlete of the Week (Chesang) versus an athlete who won three this season (Chepengat).
NJCAA Region VI Championship Meet
There was a battle between four top-10 teams in the most recent NJCAA Division I Men’s National Coaches’ Poll at the Region VI Championship Meet: No. 1 Cloud County (Kan.) CC went up against No. 7 Hutchinson (Kan.) CC, No. 9 Allen (Kan.) CC and No. 10 Colby (Kan.) CC.
When the dust settled in Iola, Kansas, the top-ranked Thunderbirds earned a 35-56 win over the seventh-ranked Blue Dragons. And what would you know, but the ninth-ranked Red Devils finished third, while the 10th-ranked Trojans finished fourth.
Three-time National Athlete of the Week Wesley Banguria of Colby (Kan.) CC captured the individual title with a 39-second victory over Zouhair Talbi of Northwest Kansas CC. Four-time National Athlete of the Week Dais Malebana of Cloud County (Kan.) CC finished third overall as his squad packed up for a 3-6-7-8-11 finish.
The women’s team title was won by No. 7 Cowley (Kan.) CC as it scored 42 points, compared to 67 by No. 13 Butler (Kan.) CC.
Abigael Kemboi of Colby (Kan.) CC crossed the finish line first in the women’s race, four seconds ahead of Michelle Sanchez of Butler (Kan.) CC.
NJCAA Region XVI Championship Meet
It’s not often that you see a head-to-head matchup between the current No. 1 team and a former No. 1 team, at least in the NJCAA Division III ranks – but that’s exactly what happened today at the NJCAA Region XVI Championship Meet.
No. 1 Mineral Area (Mo.) CC squared off against former No. 1 St. Charles (Mo.) CC in what amounted to a dual meet in St. Charles, Missouri.
The Cardinals proved why they are the current No. 1 as they put all five of their runners ahead of the Cougars’ second to earn a 20-41 victory.
Edwin Kipanoi of St. Charles (Mo.) CC nabbed the individual title with a time of 28:26.9, exactly 19 seconds faster than the closest competitor.