T-Birds take top spots at Bethel College Invitational

Cloud County javelin throwers (left to right) Carley Nelson, Falon Kickhaefer and Shanee Angol all qualified for the national meet on Thursday at the Bethel College Invitational
Cloud County javelin throwers (left to right) Carley Nelson, Falon Kickhaefer and Shanee Angol all qualified for the national meet on Thursday at the Bethel College Invitational

NEWTON, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College track and field teams were not originally scheduled to compete at the Bethel College Invitational on Thursday. Recent inclement weather, and the threat of more this weekend, led to the mid-week event's addition.

All's well that ends well as the both the men and women's teams made the most of their unexpected trip to Newton as both teams brought home first-place finishes out of 18 teams.

The Cloud County men's team scored a meet-best 178.5 points, more than doubling up second-place Hutchinson, while the women's team edged out Benedictine College (147) with 163 points.

Cloud County combined for 13 event wins Thursday, two of which came from freshman jumper Peter Ackah.

Ackah earned his victories in the long jump (24-feet, 2.25 inches) and the triple jump (50' 0.5''), joined in the top-5 by teammates Murphy Bavinga in second place (49'3.75) and Johnathan Spearman in fourth place (48'7.5'').

Freshman Kyle Alcine added another event win for Cloud County jumpers in the high jump with a leap of 6'7.25'' while Austin Walton and Andy Caris finished second and third, respectively, in the pole vault.

On the track, Cloud County freshman Methelus Myflore ran the best race of her season to win the 100-meter dash with a national qualifying time of 11.87 seconds.

Cloud County swept the 800-meter run and 3,000-meter steeplechase events as sophomores Ariel St. John (2:25.81) and Stephen Marindich (1:58.93) each collected victories in their respective 800-meters, and Thandeka Manzana (13:18.91) and Thom Reynders (10:27.43) earned first-place finishes in the steeplechase.

Sophomore Moses Dirane, who was second in the 800-meter (1:59.22) right behind Marindich, won the men's 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:15.65. Fellow sophomore Thobile Mosito was close behind in second place at 4:16.06.

Thrower Gabbreil Harris continued her strong sophomore campaign by winning the women's hammer throw event with a toss of 165'5'' to edge out freshman teammate Avi Bulai in second place (161'2'').

Harris would added runner-up finishes in the women's shot put (41'7'') and discus events (163'8''), while Bulai collected a third-place finish in the discus (145'3'').

Freshman thrower Shanee Angol highlighted a tremendous afternoon for Cloud County's javelin throwers as she won the women's event with a mark of 140'7''.

Sophomore Falon Kickhaefer and freshman Carley Nelson finished fourth and fifth, respectively, behind Angol and all three punched their tickets to the national meet. Kickhaefer's throw was 120'5'' and Nelson collected her top-5 with a 119'11'' mark.

The T-Birds' additional three event wins came via relay events as the women's 4X100-meter relay team (48.89) and 4X400-meter relay team (4:05.08) posted the top times for the invitational.

Cloud County made it a clean sweep in the 4X400-meter relays as its men's team edged out Benedictine at the finish line with a time of 4:05.08. Benedictine finished in 4:05.94.

Other notable performances on an all-around strong day for the T-Birds included a second-place finish in the men's 400-meter dash by sophomore Darrien Lipscomb, who earlier this week signed to run track at North Dakota State University. He crossed the line in 49.38.

Freshman hurdler Nikki Kraaijeveld collected two top-5 finishes, earning runner-up in the women's 400-meter hurdles (1:08.64) and fourth in the 100-meter hurdles (15:30).

Robson Yinambe added a pair of fourth-place finishes in the men's hurdle events with times of 15.07 in the 110-meter hurdles and 56.36 in the 400-meter hurdles.

And sophomore thrower Vashon McCarthy continued his consistent production with a third-place finish in the men's shot put event (52'2'') and fourth-place finish in the men's discus (156'9'').

Cloud County will have a handful of athletes competing today at the first of the KT Woodman Classic held in Wichita.

The entire team will be back in action again April 19-21 at the KU Relays in Lawrence.