REND LAKE, Ill. — The Southwestern Community College women finished 31st and the men placed 33rd at the NJCAA Cross Country Championships here Saturday.
The women were led by the 56th-place finish out of 295 by sophomore Kalli McCann of Osceola. McCann ran 20:05 over the 5K course.
Regina Hafner finished 179th overall in 21:51 and Delaney Turner placed 197th in 22:08 for the Spartan women.
“The women ran very well,” head coach Bill Huntington said. “Regina Hafner had, I thought, about as good of a race as she’s had all year. She ran very well. So did Delaney. Those top three ladies really ran great races.”
Courtney Wagner finished 244th overall in 23:16 and freshman Kristin Klocksiem finished 261st in 23:40.
“A nice way to end the season with Courtney Wagner and Kristin Klocksiem,” Huntington said. “They both set PR’s, so if you’re going to set a PR, you might as well set it at the national championship.”
Iowa Central won its second straight national championship with 40 points, running away from second-place Central Arizona’s 145 points. The Spartans finished 31st with 802 points.
Freshman Gage Beers of Osceola led the Spartan men to a 33rd-place finish with 925 points. Beers ran 29:37 over the 8K course for 179th place overall out of 286 runners.
Sophomore Dave Prchal finished 218th in 30:11, while freshman Auston Carter ran 30:39 for 235th place. Rayvonne Brown finished 238th in 30:44 and Nic Bacus rounded out the team scoring by finishing 254th in 31:26.
“We went into it banged up,” Huntington said. “Auston Cater, they thought he had a ruptured Achilles. Turned out it wasn’t that, it was just really bad tendinitis, so he was walking wounded. Kenny Blass has been walking wounded and Rayvonne Brown has been struggling a lot with his calf and ankle. Nic Bacus was hurt as well.
“They ran as fast as they could. When you’re hobbled, it’s hard. They still ran really great races. Gage Beers had a nice race for his freshman year. The highlight is we’re going to get five out of those seven back. I though both sophomores did a great job.”
Blass, a sophomore, ran in the six-spot for the Spartans, finishing 260th in 31:47, while freshman Josh Cobb finished 265th in 32:17.
Huntington said he was pleased with the progression his teams made throughout the season.
“When we see where they started and what their times were in high school, and how they’ve transitioned in college, there’s just no comparison,” Huntington said. “The one thing that really stood out to me is what Kalli did. She didn’t make state until she was a senior and she finished 72nd. Then, to finish 56th at the national championships, that’s phenomenal. It shows if you’re willing to put in the time, you’re going to be successful.”
NJCAA Cross Country Championships
Women’s team scores
1. Iowa Central 40, 2. Central Arizona 145, 3. South Plains 156, 4. Lansing 180, 5. El Paso 206, 31. Southwestern 802.
Southwestern — 56. Kalli McCann, 20:05; 179. Regina Hafner, 21:51; 197. Delaney Turner, 22:08; 244. Courtney Wagner, 23:16; 261. Kristin Klocksiem, 23:40.
Men’s team scores
1. Central Arizona 51, 2. Spartanburg Methodist 104, 2. Paradise Valley 138, 4. Colby 153, 5. NIACC 209, 33. Southwestern 925.
Southwestern — 179. Gage Beers, 29:37; 218. Dave Prchal, 30:11; 235. Auston Carter, 30:39; 238. Rayvonne Brown, 30:44; 254. Nic Bacus, 31:26; 260. Kenny Blass, 31:47; 265. Josh Cobb, 32:17.