HUTCHINSON, KS - The Northwest Kansas Technical College Cross Country Team competed in their second meet of the season in Hutchinson, KS on September 13. Hutchinson Community College hosted the "Romp at the Ridge". Only four men competed for the Mavericks; they were: Jameslee Banning from Burden, KS (first year Electrical Technology), Patrick Brown from Freeport, Bahamas (first year Engineering Technology), Jason Lang from Melbourne, Australia (first year Business Tech), and Jordan Ball from Bolivar, MO (first year Automotive Technology). The Men's Team was without Randall Thomas (second year Collision Repair), who was Tech's 3rd place team finisher last week, due to a family commitment. Tech's lone woman runner did not compete due to an injury.
The College Men's race followed the College Women's race. This was a slightly smaller field, as there were 88 finishers for the College Men's Division compared to the 129 from the previous week. There were 90+ athletes who started the race and many dropped out at the 5k mark. Well over half of the field was finishing the race as some of the runners were passing the 5k checkpoint. The winning time for the 8-kilometer (about 5 miles) race was 26:14.5 by an athlete from Colby CC. Colby had 5 of the top 10 men to easily win the Men's Division over the likes of Fort Hays State, Ottawa University, and the other community colleges. The lead runner for Northwest Tech was Jordan Ball in his first race this season. He finished the 8k course in 32:59.5, placing 70th. Second for Northwest Tech was Jameslee Banning, finishing the 8k course 74th in a time of 33:52.9. Third for Tech was Jason Lang in 77th place in a time of 34.22.9. The final finisher for Tech was Patrick Brown in 88th place in a time of 39:31.7.
This was a very positive meet for the Northwest Tech Men. The course was deceptively challenging as there were many rolling hills, slow inclines, and many, many turns. This was also the first time that the men had run an 8k race. After last week's performance at the JK Gold Classic, we changed up some of our training and intensity levels. It seems to have paid dividends for the entire team. During the race, the men stuck together and pushed each other through the 2-kilometer mark. The top 3 men came through the 2-kilometer (about 1.25 mile) mark at about 7:21 and were running together. At the 2-mile mark, the top 3 were all under 13:00 and were within 15 seconds of each other. As they neared the 5 kilometer mark, our pack began to break up as each one began to race for themselves. At this point they were still within a minute of each other. At the 5-kilometer mark, most of our runners were at their average high school times for that event. It was impressive to see that we can sustain the race pace that we were running a year or two before over a longer distance. As we get stronger and faster, we'll be able to push our team pace and our pack further and faster into the 5 and 6k marks.
Northwest Tech's next scheduled competition is Saturday, September 20th at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, but may take a week off to continue training and take a short break from competition. This would make the next competition Saturday, September 27th at Tabor College. This will be the first time that Tech will have all 5 men able to run and will give them a team score; the first in the history of the program. The race distances from here on out for the Men will be 8k. This will give us an additional way to measure our improvement. It is also hoped that Heavenly Alexander may be healed enough to compete that weekend as well.
Complete results are available at http://www.morgansports.net/results/hcc.php.