Meet Recap: 2020 NJCAA DIII Cross Country Championships

Champions were crowned on Saturday at the 2020 NJCAA Division III Cross Country Championships in Fort Dodge, Iowa. This was the first time that the meet was held outside of the Northeast since 2001.

The top-ranked programs swept their respective gender’s titles: Mineral Area (Mo.) in record fashion on the men’s side; Joliet (Ill.) JC, as expected, on the women’s side.

Keep reading below to find out what happened!

2020 NJCAA DIII CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS – FINAL STANDINGS

Men’s Teams
Points
Women’s Teams
Points
No. 1 Mineral Area (Mo.)
18
No. 1 Joliet (Ill.) JC
41
No. 2 Joliet (Ill.) JC
40
No. 2 Kellogg (Mich.) CC
47
No. 4 Georgia Military College
83
No. 4 Westmoreland County (Pa.) CC
60
No. 7 St. Charles (Mo.) CC
92
No. 3 Georgia Military College
67

Men’s Race

Mineral Area (Mo.) dominated the proceedings on Saturday.

The top-ranked Cardinals, led by individual champion Donovan Denslow, romped to the team title as they broke the meet scoring record with 18 points (SUNY Delhi previously owned the all-time best with 22 points from back in 2009). Denslow finished in 26:38.63, nearly 40 seconds ahead of teammate and individual runner-up Wyatt Elliott. That duo was joined in the top-10 by Kyle Vinyard (fourth), Caleb Wicklund (sixth) and Alex Ahrens (10th).

No. 2 Joliet (Ill.) JC was the clear runner-up as it finished with 40 points. Julian Rosenbach and Nate Chaidez both earned spots in the top-10 at fifth and eighth, respectively.

No. 4 Georgia Military College ended up third as a team with No. 7 St. Charles (Mo.) CC in fourth. The top-finishing athlete from either of those programs was Ryan Pendergast of St. Charles (Mo.) CC in 18th.

Women’s Race

Top-ranked Joliet (Ill.) JC followed Tiffany Lehmann‘s lead.

Literally.

Lehmann won the individual title on Saturday in 20:10.87 and the Wolves packed up well behind her to capture the team title by six points over second-ranked Kellogg (Mich.) CC, 41-47. It turned out to be a 13-second victory for Lehmann as she pulled away over the final two miles and JJC put three other runners in the top-15 to bolster their chances of winning its first title in program history (Yesenia Suarez was fifth; Ivet Rosiles was 12th; Erica Nurczyk was 15th).

Kellogg (Mich.) CC made it interesting with three runners in the top-6: Emma Berning took individual runner-up honors behind Lehmann; Hannah Wilkinson was fourth; Kennedy Vanderlugt finished sixth. Behind the performances of those three runners, the Bruins slimmed Joliet JC’s lead to as few as three points at the 2.75 mile split, but couldn’t get over the hump.

No. 4 Westmoreland County (Pa.) CC ended up third as all of its runners finished within one minute, 23 seconds of each other for the lowest spread of the race. The top finisher for the Wolfpack was Olivia Jumper in 14th with Molleigh Henderson capping the top-5 in 21st.

No. 3 Georgia Military College placed fourth. The Bulldogs had two runners in the top-10: Paige White was seventh; Nicquelette Fazekas was ninth.