Cloud County Men's Track Team Finishes Sixth at 2022 NJCAA Outdoor Track Championships

Ephraim Lerkin Finished Seventh in the 400 Meter Hurdles at the 2022 NJCAA Outdoor Track Championships
Ephraim Lerkin Finished Seventh in the 400 Meter Hurdles at the 2022 NJCAA Outdoor Track Championships

Entering the third and final day of action with 36 points accumulated through two days of events, the Cloud County Community College men's track and field team would turn three top-eight finishes into an additional five points to finish in sixth place at the 2022 NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Gowans Stadium in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Finishing as one of six Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference schools in the top seven, the T-Birds would finish six points ahead of both Northwest Kansas Tech and Colby who would both finish with 35 points in a tie for seventh. Other KJCCC schools to finish in the top seven included a third-place finish from Barton (68 points), a fourth-place finish from Coffeyville (67.5 points), and a fifth-place finish from Butler (48 points). South Plains College would defend their 2021 NJCAA Outdoor Track National Title by finishing as the only school to eclipse 100 points with 104 points to outlast Iowa Western who would finish National Runner-Up with 85 total points.

After scoring 19 points on the opening day of competition on Thursday, CCCC would have a strong start to day two action as multi-event athletes Andrew Betton (6,274 points, second) and Anson Moses (6,335 points, fourth) would both earn top-five finishes in the decathlon to add 12 points to the T-Bird team total. Cloud County would then see Michael Iyali run his way to a fifth-place finish in the 3,000-steeplechase in a time of 9:24.75 and put CCCC at their day two total of 36 points. In the remaining limited action on Friday by Cloud County, freshman Hassan Abidi would run a qualifying time of 1:53.44 in the 800 meters to post the sixth-fastest time in the 40-man field.

Turning things over to the final day on Saturday morning, an early point for the T-Birds would come from Davis Mick in the javelin with a throw of 48.80 meters (160 ft. – 1 in.) to take eighth before seeing Abidi take seventh in the 800-meter finals with a time of 1:53.58. The other points for CCCC scored on Saturday would come in the 400-meter hurdle finals as a Thursday qualifying time ran by Ephraim Lerkin would turn into a seventh-place finish by posting a time of 54.34 seconds.

For Cloud County, the sixth-place team finish continues a stretch dating back to the 2017 NJCAA Outdoor National Championships that the T-Birds have finished no worse than sixth at an NJCAA National Championship Track Meet. Included in the stretch are five top-three finishes on the National Stage including the program's lone National Championship coming in the 2019 outdoor season.