Cloud County Cross Country Teams Take Part in NJCAA Half Marathon Championships to End Season
Just three days removed from competing at the 2023 NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, four Cloud County Community College cross country student-athletes would put a cap on their 2023 season by taking part in the 2023 NJCAA Half Marathon Championships at John Hunt Park in Huntsville, Alabama on Tuesday, November 14th.
Representing the Cloud County men as an individualist among a field of 155 runners would be freshman Siyabonga Mokgothu while N Vanee Anchike, Ozia Trujillo, and Nikola Prochazkova would all run in the women's race to help Cloud County put up a team score of 43 total points to place fifth out 22 teams.
The Cloud County women's team score would be just two points back of fourth-place Trinidad State Junior College and five points out of a podium finish as New Mexico Junior College would take third with 38 total points. Adding to their cross country national title from Saturday would be Salt Lake Community College by having three runners finish in the top 10 to win the meet with 18 total points while Iowa Western would claim National Runner-Up honors with 32 total points.
Individually for the CCCC women, Anchike and Trujillo would post top-eight finishes by finishing in seventh (1:25:10.00) and eighth (1:25:37.40) respectively with the two times accounting for the top-two women's half marathon times in program history for Cloud County. Prochazkova would work her way up throughout the race from a 51st place spot at the 3.16 mile split all the way up to a 33rd-place finish in a time of 1:36:29.0 to finish in the top 30 percent of the 121-runner field that competed on Tuesday morning.
As for Mokgothu on the men's side, a third-place individual finish would lead to All-American honors and a podium finish as the only Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference runner to finish inside the top-five with a time of 1:06:22.50. A one-two finish from Tomas Vega and German Vega of New Mexico Junior College would lead NMJC to a National Title over Trinidad State by finishing with 14 points to TSJC's 17 point performance while Salt Lake Community College would take third in the men's race with 37 total points. The time for Mokgothu is the third-fastest time run by a Cloud County men's student-athlete in the half marathon championships behind only Awet Beraki who ran two of the top-five fastest times in NJCAA half marathon history in consecutive years which included the 2020 NJCAA Half Marathon individual national title.