GOODLAND, KS- The Northwest Tech Men's and Woman Cross Country team participated in the Colby Community College Invitational starting at 5 pm Central. Both the men's and women's division competed on the same 5k (3.1 mile) course around the Colby CC campus. This was the only time this season that the men would compete in the 5k race. All other races from this point forward will be 8k races.
Colby athletes dominated both races. Winnie Kibet won the women's race in 18:19.63 and Oscar Leyva won the men's race in 16:09.39. The Colby women finished a close 2nd to Hastings College (31 to 33 points). The Garden City women finished in 3rd place with 71 points. Northwest Tech did not have a team score. On the men's side, Colby finished first with a near-perfect 16 points, followed by Hastings College with 66, Garden City with 72, and Northwest Tech with 83.
Courtney Raab (SO, BT, Aravda, CO) made her college cross country debut in 31:07.84. This is about 40 seconds off her high school cross-country time…and with very little training. Raab's times will continue to come down throughout the season as her training progresses. Raab's specialty on the track is the 200/400, so a 5k race is a bit out of her comfort zone. But we are very excited to have her competing and getting ready for Track season.
Benard Langat (FR, BT, Kenya) broke up Colby CC's perfect score attempt with his 5th place finish. A "perfect score" is 15 points (finishers placing 1-5). Langat covered the course in a new school record of 17:22.42. The previous school record was set last year by now Bethany College athlete, Jamall Theodile in 18:14.6 Langat was running in the front pack through the first half of the race, covering the first mile in just under 5 minutes, but that blistering pace turned out to be just a little too much as he hung on the claim 5th place. Teammate and fellow Kenyan, Daniel Kirwa (FR, DT) finished in 10th place with a time of 17:56.43. Kirwa has been sick much of this week and was very disappointed in his performance. Once he feels better and begins to compete in the 8k races, his time will be much more to his liking.
Freshman Erick Enriquez (AG, Idalia, CO) ran a PR (Personal Record) for his 5k performance. Enriquez bested his high school PR by nearly 15 seconds. His time of 18:30.52 was good enough for 19th place. He is adjusting to true distance training as he is still running on a lot of natural ability. The best is yet to come for this young man.
Finishing in 4th place for the Mavericks was freshman Sean Conness (CA, Wakeeney, KS). Conness ran his race in 19:43.37 and finished in 29th place. He has a lot of base miles coming into this season from summer training. The 8k is going to be a great race for him going forward due to his base miles.
Freshman Francisco Castillo (EN, Garden City, KS) finished just under 20 minutes in 19:59.02. This marked the first time that the Northwest Tech men have had all finishers under 20 minutes. This also gave them the best team score to date. Castillo has had a lot of varied interests including MMA fighting, so he has a great base of training. We are just working on getting him into distance running shape.
The big take-aways from this meet are: no one finished last in either race, first time the men have had all scoring runners under 20 minutes, a new school record in the men's 5k, and we have only freshmen athletes on the men's side. Given all of those factors, Northwest Tech Cross Country is going to have great year this year…and in the years to come. This was a real eye opener for some of the teams we were competing against.
The Mavericks are in action again on Monday, September 11th at Prairie Dunes Golf Course in Garden City, KS.