El DORADO, Kansas — Monday was a pretest for the Cloud County Community College cross country teams as the T-Birds competed in the Ollie Isom Invite hosted by Butler Community College, the last regular season meet of the season, on the very course (Prairie Trails Golf Course) the teams will see again on Nov. 12 for the NJCAA Championships.
The T-Birds passed with flying colors, despite harsh weather conditions, as the women's team finished seventh overall and the men's team, led by another meet victory for freshman Moses Dirane, took third overall.
"We were tested (Monday) with 20-30 mile per hour winds and temperatures in the high 80's," said Cloud County head coach, Drew Mahin. "The course was in great condition, nice rolling hills. It should be a very fast course come the NJCAA Championships, but today it beat the kids up. They were 2-3 minutes behind their typical times."
Dirane, who has four wins and six top-5 finishes this season, won the men's eight kilometer race with a time of 26 minutes, 30.98 seconds, with teammates Thobile Mosito (27:30.40) and Stephen Marindich (28:00.67) right behind him in fifth and eighth place, respectively.
Freshmen Dominic Rotich (30:46.55, 42nd) and Anthony Nunez (37:14.64, 100th), and sophomores Nick Roark (34:46.55, 42nd) and Bryce Ginther (35:00.03, 87th) rounded out the male T-Birds in action Monday.
On the women's side, sophomore Stephanie Barrett set the pace for Cloud County as she crossed the line in eighth place with a 3K time of 20:52.93.
Freshman Ariel St. John led the second wave of T-Birds as she finished 40th with a time of 23:03.49. She was followed by Thandeka Manzana (23:37.49, 52nd), Camila Faundez (24:24.81, 62nd), Rebecca Scholz (24:54.51, 68th) and Kiley Schmidtberger (30:12.00, 91st).
Cloud County will look to rest up the next 12 days before they step to the starting line for the KJCCC/Region VI Championships on Saturday, Oct. 9 hosted by Hutchinson Community College.
"Most of the KJCCC was at the meet (Monday)," Mahin said. "It provided a good measuring stick for the next two weeks."