WICHITA, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College men and women's track and field teams each recorded top-3 finishes at the Friends University Spring Open, held Friday and Saturday in Wichita.
The Cloud County men's team collected four event wins to cruise to a meet victory with 133 points, Hutchinson was second at 75 points, while the women's team placed third — the highest finish for any junior college team — with four event wins on the weekend, as well.
On the men's side, the T-Birds dominated the 800-meter event, which was ran twice on Friday and Saturday, as sophomore Tanner Brown won Friday's final in 1-minute, 55.34 seconds, while the dup of Ablel Gebreselase (2:00.36) and Thom Reynders (2:01.37) went 1-2 in Saturday's final/
Freshman distance runner Saba Khvichava added Cloud County's third win in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase as crossed the finish line in a national qualifying time of 9:21.14.
Khvichava's time is currently the second fastest in the country amongst NJCAA athletes, just behind his teammate and fellow freshman, Dennis Kiptoo (9:26.82).
Reynders became the third Cloud County male athlete to be nationally qualified in the event when he posted a sixth-place finish Saturday in a time of 9:46.78.
Sophomore jumper Murphy Bavinga claimed the fourth event win for the Cloud County men's team when he joined the 50-feet club in the triple jump, winning with a national qualifying jump of 50'0.5, which according to records on TFRRS.org would make Bavinga the only NJCAA to clear 50-feet so far this season.
On the women's side, jumper Grace Chinonyelum continued her dominating freshman season as she won the long jump (19'4.75) and triple jump (43'2.5), setting Friends University Spring Open meet records in both events.
The T-Birds also received event wins from freshman Jacqueline Pokuaah in the 100-meter hurdles (14.42), tying a school record set in 2011 by Shawna Bennett and giving Pokuaah the fourth-fastest time in the country at the NJCAA ranks.
Sophomore thrower Shanee Angol in the javelin (132'7); the second-best mark amongst NJCAA athletes so far this season.
Pokuaah would add a third-place finish in the 200-meter dash (25.26) for just one of Cloud County's slew of additional top finishes over the weekend.
Sophomore thrower Levi Armon punched his ticket to the NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships with a second-place finish in the men's shot put on a national qualifying throw of 50'6.75.
Freshmen distance runners Santino Kenyi (3:56.02) and Gabriel Chinya (33:30.15) each added second-place finishes in the 1,500-meter and 10,000-meter, respectively, and the men's 4X400-meter relay team of Stephen Holland, Sten Sepp, Dais Malebana and Marco Joseph earned a runner-up finish in 3:20.73.
Freshman hurdler Yuben Goncalves also added a national qualifying mark in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.07 en route to a third-place finish.
Concordia native Jessica Williams nearly collected another event win Saturday for the T-Birds when she placed second in the women's pole vault with a season-best mark of 12'1.5, which was second only to Wichita State's Alesa Frey.
Williams currently hold the No. 2 spot in the nation amongst NJCAA athletes.
Sophomore sprinter Myflore Methelus in the 100-meter dash (12.17) and freshman Maryse Mbenoun in the 800-meter run (2:31.21) each earned runner-up finishes on Saturday, as well, while sophomore Janne Hamisi was close behind Mbenoun in third with a time of 2:34.91.
Rounding out Cloud County's top performers were sophomore thrower Takyra Hilton with a third-place finish in the women's shot put (43'10.75) and fellow sophomore Kenisha Stubbs, who cracked the national qualifying list with a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles (1:06.49).