NEW ORLEANS, La. – Closing in on the final month of the indoor season, the Cloud County Community College women's and men's track and field teams would continue to hold down top-10 spots in the latest United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association NJCAA Top-25 Polls released on Wednesday, February 12th.
The lone change inside the top-five of the women's poll would come courtesy of Cloud County as the T-Birds would manage to move up one spot in to the number five spot with 222.58 points. New Mexico Junior College, Iowa Central, Barton, and South Plains would continue to keep a lock on the top four spots in the poll, along with the number 14 spot (Hinds) and number 18 (Hawkeye CC) maintaining their spots in the latest poll that saw new teams in 21 of the 25 spots.
12 national qualifying marks have been recorded by the T-Birds this season, led by top marks in the NJCAA by Mercy Ntia-Obong (23.96) and the 4x800 meter relay team (9:48.23). Ntia-Obong also has the fourth-best time in the 60 meters while Jacqueline Pokuaah has the second-best mark in the long jump (6.01 meters, 19 ft. – 8.75 in.) and fifth-best time in the 60 meter hurdles (8.74). Other Cloud County athletes with national qualifying times or marks include Pokuaah in the 60 meters, Maryse Mbenoun in the 800 meters, Aliya Hatton in the 60 meter hurdles, Sophie Jebose in the pole vault, Grace Chinonyelum in the long jump, Marie Forbes in the shot put, and the 4x400 meter relay team.
On the men's side, Cloud County would remain inside the top-10 to come in at number seven with 160.59 points, sitting just behind New Mexico Junior College at number six (177.99 points). Iowa Central holds a big lead on the top spot with 409.98 points, nearly 200 points better than second place Barton (266.28 points). South Plains, Coffeyville, and Mesa CC round out the top-five as four of the top-five teams in the country remained the same from last week.
As things currently stand, 16 times or marks have reached the National Qualifying threshold set by the NJCAA by T-Bird athletes led by Santino Kenyi who has ran national qualifying times in the 800 meters, 1,000 meters, mile run, and 3,000 meters. Other runners to qualify this year so far are Gabriel Chinya in the mile, Marcquiece Cade in the 60 meter hurdles, Habtamu Geta in the mile run and 5,000 meters, and the 4x400 meter relay and 4x800 meter relay teams. In field events, CCCC has qualified Richard Newman, Elijah Wilson, and Andrew Betton in the high jump, Jaelin Pinckney in the triple jump, Courtney Lawrence in the shot put, and Daniel Cope in the weight throw. The T-Birds will have three more meets to try and set additional marks ahead of the National Championships March 6th and 7th.