Cloud men's team takes third at Woody Greeno/Dirksen Invitational

Cloud County sophomore Thandeka Manzana
Cloud County sophomore Thandeka Manzana
LINCOLN, Nebraska -- The Cloud County Community College cross country teams made one of its favorite annual trips on Saturday as the T-Birds traveled out to Lincoln, Nebraska for the Woody Greeno/Dirksen Invitational.
 
The Cloud men's team finished third overall in the "Gold Division," consisting for NCAA Division II, NAIA and NJCAA schools. It was the highest finish for any junior college team.
 
"We were exactly where we want to be heading into late September, with five guys under 29 minutes," said Cloud County head coach, Drew Mahin. "(Saturday) was a good indication we're on the right track."
 
Moses Dirane led the way for the T-Birds as he finished third overall, and first amongst Gold Division athletes, with a time of 25:46.0. Fellow sophomore Thobile Mosito joined Dirane in the top-10 with a sixth-place finish (26:34.60).
 
The three other Cloud men's runners to eclipse the 29-minute mark were sophomore Stephen Marindich (20th-place, 28:00.70), freshman Longins Kouri (29th, 28:21.40) and freshman Burke Deters (37th-place, 28:48.60).
 
It was a strong effort for the T-Birds following a disappointing showing a week ago in the high altitude of Colorado Springs at the Colorado College Invitational.
 
"I think mentally, emotionally the attitude they brought to this race was better. They were all really focused. Them bouncing back from a rough meet in Colorado at altitude was a great moment for their psyche as we move forward this season," Mahin said.
 
On the women's side, sophomore Thandeka Manzana paced Cloud runners with a 26:23.10 to finish 36th overall.
 
Freshmen Alexis Cook (26:35.70) and Sadie Jones (29.12.80) finished in 66th-place and 97th-place, respectively.
 
Saturday's meet was also a memorable one for a former Cloud County runner as Randy Hasenbank, a former NJCAA All-American out of St. George Kansas, coached his Univerity of Iowa men's cross country team to a first-place finish in the event.
 
Cloud County will be back in action this Friday when it heads to the Papa John's Invitational hosted by Emporia State University.