Meet Recap: 2022 NJCAA Indoor T&F Championships

Champions were crowned at the 2022 NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Pittsburg, Kansas!

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The men of South Plains (Texas) and the women of Iowa Western CC successfully repeated as team champions with convincing titles as the 50th men’s and 43rd women’s NJCAA Indoor Championships were held at Pittsburg State’s Robert W. Plaster Center.

2022 NJCAA Indoor T&F Championships – Final Standings

Men’s Teams
Score
 
Women’s Teams
Score
#1 South Plains (Texas)
140
 
#1 Iowa Western CC
160
#5 Barton (Kan.) CC
62
 
#2 New Mexico JC
98
#2 Iowa Western CC
51
 
#3 Cloud County (Kan.) CC
77
#8 Cloud County (Kan.) CC
48
 
#5 South Plains (Texas)
65
#3 Iowa Central CC
46
 
#4 Barton (Kan.) CC
63

The margin of victory in each team race was impressive.

Men’s Recap

South Plains – which had been season-long No. 1 in the men’s USTFCCCA Track & Field Ratings Index (TFRI) – more than doubled up its nearest competitor as the Texans’ 140 points was 78 points better than runner-up Barton (Kan.) CC at 62. The win for the Texans is its 8th NJCAA Indoor men’s team title in program history. Iowa Western CC (51), Cloud County (Kan.) CC (48) and Iowa Central CC (46) completed the top-5.

South Plains dominated the victory stand, winning seven events – 400 meters (Jeremy Bembridge, 46.62), 600 (Chris Robinson, 1:16.99), 800 (Kimar Farquharson, 1:50.85), 4×400 relay (3:07.68), 4×800 relay (7:34.15), high jump (Kudakwashe Chadenga, 2.19m/7-2¼) and pole vault (Thomas Nieto, 5.32m/17-5½). Robinson – who won the 400-meter hurdles at last year’s NJCAA Outdoor Championships – added a runner-up finish in the 60 hurdles and led off the victorious 4×400 relay team.

Three athletes repeated victories from last year. For Shakwon Coke of Barton, his long jump victory at 7.83m (25-8¼) was actually a third-straight title as he won the event in 2020 as well. He added a second-straight runner-up finish in the triple jump (15.53m/ 50-11½ behind Iowa Central’s Roman Kuleshov, who bounded 15.72m/51-7).

The other two repeat champions added to victories from the NCJAA Cross Country Championships in November – Vincent Nchogu of Northwest Kansas Tech, the Division I harrier winner, won the 5000 (14:18.88), while Division II cross country champ Adrian Diaz-Lopez of Cowley (Kan.) won the 3000 (8:22.15).

Women’s Recap

Iowa Western was also a clear winner, scoring 160 points in the women’s competition – 62 points ahead of New Mexico JC, which totaled 98 points. NMJC began the season No. 1 in the women’s TFRI, but was overtaken by the Reivers early last month. This is the second NJCAA Indoor women’s team title for Iowa Western, which won last year by nine points over South Plains. Cloud County (Kan.) CC (77), South Plains (65) and Barton (Kan.) CC (63) rounded out the top-5.

Iowa Western’s eight event titles included the meet’s only multiple winner for either gender – Hilda Chebet claimed the mile (5:02.33), 3000 (10:05.62) and 5000 17:11.61). Chebet was also runner-up in 1000 (2:59.87 behind the 2:55.34 by Aaliyah Moore of Monroe-New Rochelle); Moore also anchored the Mustangs to victory in the distance medley relay at 11:56.18). Chebet’s win in the 3000 was part of a 1-2 of Iowa Western with Mercy Biwott runner-up in 10:15.89.

Other winners for the Reivers were Nickisha Pryce (400 in 53.68 and as anchor of the champion 4×400 relay team in 3:42.75), Miracle Ailes (high jump, 1.80m/5-10¾) and Antonia Sealy (pentathlon at 3678 points). Ailes led a 1-2 Reivers finish in the high jump with defending champ Alliyah McNeil next at 1.75m/5-8¾; McNeil also ran the leadoff leg on the 4×400 team.

Pryce was joined as a repeat victor from last year by Victoria Adu of Iowa Central in the weight throw (18.73m/61-5½). Another repeat winner from last year was Barton’s Nia Robinson – she won the triple jump (12.60m/41-4¼) after winning the long jump last year (she was runner-up this year at 6.19m/20-3¾ behind the 6.32m/20-9 of South Plains’ Joniar Thomas).

A big mover on the all-time NJCAA list was Jerricka Ambus of Hinds (Miss.) CC in the 60 hurdles, where she now rates No. 3 ever with her 8.25 victory; before this meet her previous best was 8.52.