Triton men, women double up at regionals
The Iowa Central cross country teams followed the approach set for them by head coach Dee Brown to the letter here Sunday.
Behind two individual champions and fourteen Top-10 finishers in both the men’s and women’s races, the top-ranked Tritons dominated the Region XI Cross Country Championships at Lakeside Golf Course.
And that’s exactly what Brown expected.
Karim Achengli won the men’s race over teammate Ezekiel Kipchirchir, as Iowa Central scored 19 points to runner-up North Iowa Area’s 74.
Shortly after that event concluded, Adva Cohen, Marion Bartilol and Abeba Sullivan went 1-2-3 as the women again scored a low of 15 to top Iowa Western by 50 points.
“This was a tune-up to get ready for nationals,” Brown said. “We had goals we wanted to accomplish, but really this was about fine-tuning things for two weeks when it matters the most.
“Our focus was great, but this group understands what they need to do.”
Earlier this year, Iowa Central claimed team and individual gold at the Region XI Time Trials, which served as a preview for Sunday’s events. Jhordan Ccope, who won the men’s race that day, was fourth, with Innocent Murwanashyaka placing fifth.
Achengli had a winning time of 24:48, which was 13 seconds ahead of Kipchirchir. Brian Jacques of NIACC was the lone Top-5 runner not from Iowa Central, taking third just a second ahead of Ccope.
Mark Whalen was seventh, Zach Emery eighth and Abdinasir Abdi 11th to round out the Tritons’ lineup.
“We had a meeting last week to discuss what we wanted to put down for goals and they came up with a really good list,” Brown said. “I think that is great because it shows they are looking ahead, which is what we want them to do.”
Cohen, who won in 17:19, repeated from winning the time trial, a race where Iowa Central also placed all five runners in the Top-5.
Bartilol placed second in 18:32 followed by Sullivan Agnes Mansaray, Marta Lukijanjuk, Aaliyah Regg Wajid and Katy Pfile in order.
“The women ran even better than I thought they might,” Brown said. “We knew coming in what to expect out of our Top-5, but those other runners really stepped up as we also had the ninth, 10th and 13th place finishers.
“Their finishes are a credit to how hard they work because we only run seven at nationals.”
Sierra Stucky, Naomi Alvarez and Abby Gawthorp were the final three runners for the Tritons, as they finished with seven in the Top-13.
Iowa Central will now prepare for the NJCAA National Cross Country Championships, which they will host back here on November 11.
“I’m jacked,” Brown said. “We have such an amazing home crowd and great support from the college and community.
“To run here in front of everybody is unbelievable. To have people come out and watch us run, that is something I just love.”
REGION XI CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
(Results from Sunday, Lakeside Golf Course)
Men’s Team Standings
1. Iowa Central, 19; 2. North Iowa Area, 74; 3. Hawkeye, 92; 4. Southwestern, 92; 5. Iowa Western, 97; 6. Indian Hills, 146; 7. Scott, 273; 8. Iowa Lakes, 345.
1. Karim Achengli, Iowa Central, 24:48.3; 2. Ezekiel Kipchirchi, Iowa Central, 25:01.5; 3. Brian Jacques, NIACC, 25:38.6; 4. Jhordan Ccope, Iowa Central, 25:39.7; 5. Innocent Murwanashyaka, Iowa Central, 26:17.2.
Iowa Central — 1. Achengli; 2. Kipchirchir; 4. Ccope, 25:39.7; 5. Murwanashyaka; 7. Mark Whalen, 26:43.3; 8. Zack Emery, 27:01.5; 11. Abdinasir Abdi, 27:25.0.
Women’s Team Standings
1. Iowa Central, 15; 2. Iowa Western, 65; 3. Hawkeye, 91; 4. North Iowa Area, 109; 5. Indian Hills, 116; 6. Southwestern, 159; 7. Des Moines Area, 192; 8. Iowa Lakes, 245.
1. Adva Cohen, Iowa Central, 17:19.8; 2. Marion Bartilol, Iowa Central, 18:32.9; 3. Abeba Sullivan, Iowa Central, 18:48.0; 4. Agnes Mansaray, Iowa Central, 18:48.3; 5. Marta Lukijanjuk, Iowa Central, 18:55.5.
Iowa Central — 1. Cohen; 2. Bartilol; 3. Sullivan; 4. Mansaray; 5. Lukijanjuk; 6. Aaliyah Regg Wajid, 18:56.9; 7. Katy Pfile, 19:02.5.