Cloud County Women's Track Finishes as National Runner-Up at 2023 NJCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships

The Cloud County Women's Track and Field Team Earned a Second Place Finish at the 2023 NJCAA Indoor Track Championships
The Cloud County Women's Track and Field Team Earned a Second Place Finish at the 2023 NJCAA Indoor Track Championships

Posting a third-consecutive top-three finish, the Cloud County Community College women's track and field team would have top-three finishers in a total of eight events to score a total of 84.5 points to finish as the 2023 NJCAA Indoor Track and Field National Runners-Up inside the Washburn University Indoor Athletic Facility in Topeka, Kansas on Saturday, March 4th.

The 84.5 points would come following a 53.5-point final day at the two-day meet to trail only the 2023 National Champion New Mexico Junior College who would finish as the lone team to break the 100-point mark by finishing with a total of 116 points. The battle for second would be about as close as it comes with CCCC edging out both South Plains College (third, 83.5 points) and Barton Community College (fourth, 83 points) as Iowa Western would finish in fourth with 48 total points.

Highlighting day two action for the T-Birds would be a national championship performance from sophomore Vimbayi Maisvorewa who would take home the gold in the 400 meters with a time of 53.50 seconds while Miracle Thompson would earn national-runner up honors in the 60-meter hurdles before going on to take third in the 60-meter dash. The 60-meter hurdles race would come down to the wire with Thompson and national champion Danae Nembhard of Barton posting the third and fourth-fastest times in NJCAA history with the Nembhard running a time of 8.24 seconds to edge out the time of 8.25 seconds by Thompson. Just minutes later, Thompson would be back on the track to run in the 60-meter dash finals, running a time of 7.43 seconds to finish just one one-hundredth of a second back of national runner-up Diandrenique Gaines of Hines Community College and seven one-hundredths of a second back of national champion Success Umukoro of South Plains College.

A day after finishing as national runner-up in the pentathlon, Vanessa Mercera would be back on the track to run in the 600-meter finals where the Curacao native would run a time of 1:33.74 to earn her second national runner-up finish of the meet for another eight points for the T-Birds. CCCC would also pick up five points from Passion Crews in the 800 meters (2:16.76) and four points from Melody Ochana in the 1,000 meters (3:06.94) with fourth and fifth-place finishes in their respective events. One final track event for Cloud County would also lead to points for the T-Birds with Mercera, Crews, Thompson, and Maisvorewa all combining for a time of 3:46.99.

In field events, CCCC would get a fifth and sixth-place finish in the high jump from Mercera and Henry as both would clear 1.66 meters (5 ft. – 5.25 in.) with Mercera earning the fifth-place finish following a jump-off among three competitors. Cloud County would also see Tahisha Thompson just miss out on a top-eight finish in the weight throw, posting a ninth-place finish with a mark of 14.84 meters (48 ft. – 8.25 in.) for CCCC's only other top-10 finish in field events on Saturday.

What's Next?
CCCC will take the upcoming week off from competition before jumping into the 2023 outdoor season, which will begin on Saturday, March 18th at the 2023 Emporia State University Spring Invitational. Cloud County is scheduled to compete in eight regular season outdoor meets prior to the 2023 NJCAA Region VI Championships which will be held May 4-6 in Coffeyville, Kansas.