Dirane tallies top-5 to lead T-Birds cross country at Woody Greeno Invitational

Dirane tallies top-5 to lead T-Birds cross country at Woody Greeno Invitational

LINCOLN, Nebraska- The Cloud County Community College cross country teams were back in action Saturday in the Woody Greeno Invitational held at Pioneer's Park in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The meet featured top talent from across various collegiate levels, including runners from Nebraska, Kansas State, Wichita State, South Dakota, Air Force, University of Nebraska-Omaha, North West Missouri, University of Nebraska-Kearney, Iowa Central, and Iowa Western.

"Woody Greeno has been a great test for our Thunderbirds each year," said Cloud County head coach, Drew Mahin. "When Cloud has a top 25 finish by an individual it usually translates to great success at the region and national level."

Freshman Moses Dirane, fresh off his back-to-back meet wins and Jayhawk Conference Runners of the Week honors, accomplished that feat, finishing fifth overall out of 219 participants with a time of 26:00.05. If not for a small stumble, Dirane would have been battling for the win.

"Dirane had a shot at the win, but stumbled and twisted his ankle in the last 400-meter," Mahin said. "His race strategy was the highlight of the day, not taking out to fast helped him come on strong in the middle miles."

Freshman Stephen Marindich placed just outside the top-25, earning a 27th-place finish with a time of 26:44.01. Fellow freshman Thobile Mosito was 52nd overall with a time of 27:35.20, while freshman Dominic Rotich (32:23.0, 194th), sophomore Nick Roark (34:39.5, 210th), and sophomore Bryce Ginther (35:32.7, 215th) rounded out the male T-Birds runners.

On the women's side, Clounty County was paced by sophomore Stephanie Barrett as she finished 56th overall out of 156 runners with a time of 24:15.80. Freshman Ariel St. John followed with a 124th-place finish with a time of 27:35.60. 

A pair of Cloud County teammates, freshmen Thandeka Manzana (28:19.00) and Rebecca Scholz (28:24.30), crossed the line back-to-back with 133rd-place and 134th-place finishes, respectively. Sophomore Camila Faundez added a 147th-place finished with a time of 30:23.00.

"The girls team struggled to get out and hold a good position in the first mile," Mahin said. "Stephanie Barrett ran stronger on the second half of the race. The women have learned a lot from the race and willl continue to improve each week. This was the longest race of the year (6,000 meters) for the women."

Cloud County will be back in action at 5 p.m. Friday, September 23 in the Emporia State University Invitational.