Dirane delivers third win to lead men's cross country, injuries plague women's team

Dirane delivers third win to lead men's cross country, injuries plague women's team

EMPORIA, Kansas- Cloud County Community College men's cross country runner Moses Dirane continued what has been a near flawless start to his collegiate career, earning his third meet victory of the season to pace the T-Birds to a fifth-place finish out of 16 teams at Friday's Emporia State University Invitational.

Dirane, who has also earned wins at the Terry Masterson Classic and Johnson County Cavalier Cup this season, crossed the line in 24 minutes, 59.28 seconds for the victory in a race that featured 179 male runners.

Not far behind were Dirane's teammates of Stephen Marindich and Thobile Mosito as the duo battled for third place with each other to the finish line. Marindich held off Mositio for third by 1.61 seconds, finishing with a time of 25:32.56. Mositio posted a time of 25:34.17.

"It was a great day for the men," said T-Birds head coach, Drew Mahin. The top three freshmen guys had another solid race and stuck together through three miles. Moses was very impressive finishing under 25 minutes, veraging under five minutes a mile. Thobile Mosito had a gutsy race coming from behind at the finish to edge out Stephen Marindich. He had some sore quads earlier this week and worked through the race well."

Cloud freshman Dominic Rotich added a top-75 finish, placing 67th with a time of 28:42.44. Sophomore Nick Roark (30:28.89, 115th), freshman Anthony Nunez (31:03.47, 124th) and sophomore Bryce Ginther (32:48.96, 135th) rounded out the male T-Birds in action.

On the women's side, Friday was a rough evening as three runners were sidelined due to injuries and illness. Freshman runner Ariel St. John and sophomore Stephanie Barrett exited the race roughly two miles in after St. John tweaked ankle and lingering knee pain continued to bother Barrett.

"The girls team got out to a great start, but we suffered two inhuries around mile two," Mahin said. "Ariel twisted a knee and ankle and had to step off. Stephanie had some knee pain earlier this week that only got worse throughout the week. She didn't finish to avoid further risk. Kara Rieth was out this week due to illness. The girls have been through 10 days of our tough training and will look to regroup at Chili Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, Arkansas next Saturday."
Cloud was led Friday by freshman Rebecca Scholz, who finished 65th overall with a time of 22:06.61. Fellow freshman Thandeka Manzana followed close behind in 73rd with a time of 22:27.38, while sophomore Camila Faundez (22:59.32, 81st) and freshman Kiley Schmidtberger (27:58.94, 118th) rounded out the Cloud County finishers.
The T-Birds cross country teams will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 1 in Fayetteville, Arkansas for the Chili Pepper Festival. The meet is scheduled to start at 9 a.m.