Chinonyelum sets facility record, Cloud County track and field teams earn four event wins at KU Relays

Cloud County freshman Grace Chinonyelum set a facility record en route to winning the women's triple jump (43'3.25) at the KU Relays.
Cloud County freshman Grace Chinonyelum set a facility record en route to winning the women's triple jump (43'3.25) at the KU Relays.

LAWRENCE, Kansas —The Cloud County Community College track and field teams recorded four event victories and a number of standout performances out in Lawrence during the three-day KU Relays, hosted by the University of Kansas.

Freshman jumper Grace Chinonyelum highlighted the event for the T-Birds as she continued to show why she will be a national force come May, winning the women's triple jump with a staggering jump of 43 feet, 3.25 inches

Chinonyelum, already the school record holder in the triple jump for the indoor and outdoor seasons, set a Rock Chalk Park facility record with her winning jump on Friday. She is currently the No. 1 ranked triple jumper in the country at the NJCAA level and is the defending national champion in the triple jump and high jump events from the indoor season.

Cloud County also added event wins in a trio of distance events, starting with a dominating performance in the men's 10,000-meter run by freshman Dennis Kiptoo.

Kiptoo won with a time of 30 minutes, 24.52 seconds while his fellow freshman teammate Kwanele Mthembu came in fifth, crossing the finish line in 31:07.04.

The duo are currently ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the country, respectively, amongst NJCAA athletes in the event.

Sophomore Thom Reynders won the men's unseeded 3,000-meter steeplechase in a time of 9:39.74 — freshman Saba Khvichava was fourth in the seeded final (9:23.25) — and the Cloud County men's distance medley relay team of Khvichava, Tanner Brown, Santino Kenyi and Dais Malebana claimed the other event win for the T-Birds in a time of 10:02.80.

That same quartet of Khvichava, Brown, Kenyi and Malebana earned a runner-up finish in the men's 4X800-meter relay, finishing in a time of 7:51.37 just a second off the winning time posted by Wichita State University.

The Cloud County women's 4X100-meter relay team of Chanice Forbes, Myflore Methelus, Shackera Samuels and Jacqueline Pokuaah would also post a top-5 finish, earning third with a time of 47.21, currently the seventh fastest time in the NJCAA.

Pokuaah also added an 11th-place finish in the women's long jump (18'3).

In the javelin events, the Cloud County men and women each had top-10 finishers as sophomore Jerrod Hoover placed eighth with a personal record throw of 178'5, and sophomore Shanee Angol earned third in the women's javelin with a mark of 133'11.

Angol ranks second amongst NJCAA women javelin throwers, while Hoover sits ninth in the country on the men's list.

The T-Birds added three more top-5 finishes on the men's side as sophomore jumpers Murphy Bavinga and Peter Ackah each earned fourth-place finishes, with Bavinga making his mark in the triple jump (49'8.5) and Ackah placing in the long jump (24'8).

Sophomore sprinter Lesley Mahlakoane earned a fifth-place finish in the men's 400-meter dash with a time of 48.60, as well.

Sophomore high jumper Kyle Alcine placed seventh overall with a leap of 6'6 and sophomore thrower Takyra Hilton placed ninth in the women's shot put (42'5) to round out Cloud County's top-10 finishers.

Freshman pole vaulter Jessica Williams (11'5) and freshman high jumper Semaj McGhee (5'2.5) each earned 11th-place finishes over the weekend, as well.

Up next for Cloud County will be the inaugural Cloud County Invitational, set for Wednesday, April 25th at the newly renovated Harold M. Clark Stadium in Concordia.

Action is scheduled to get underway at 11 a.m. Wednesday with throwing events held on the Cloud County Community College campus, while track events are set to begin at 2 p.m.