Pair of Top-5 finishes for Iowa Central at national cross country meet | News, Sports, Jobs

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – It was another memorable experience for Dee Brown and Iowa Central’s Cross Country program.

The Triton men secured second place, led by All-American Aspel Kiprob, while the women finished fifth overall and earned two runner All-American honors in Chloe Garcia Grafing and Taylor McCreedy.

Colby had no trouble capturing the men’s team title, finishing with just 38 total points. Iowa Central was second with 115, followed by Northwest Kansas Tech, El Paso, and New Mexico JC. Southern Idaho held on for the women’s crown against New Mexico JC, with Salt Lake, Hutchinson and the Tritons rounding out the top-5.

“It was a hard day running” said Brown. “It was hot and very humid and the track was wet and slow. The best way to describe both teams was bold and bold. You fought.

“You have outdone yourself. The men were without one of our top three and still finished second in the nation in a very close fight. We were all the way behind, moving up to 3rd halfway through and finishing 2nd with 1km to go. Then they solidified it.”

In the men’s, Sanele Masondo from Colby won 0.4 seconds ahead of Rodgers Rotich from Butler. The Trojans had a total of four in the top-10.

The Tritons looked to secure a three-peat but settled for their ninth gold and silver finish in the last 10 years. Kiprob finished sixth overall in his sophomore year with a time of 24:45.1.

Yared Kidane was 19th, Jed Elmbarki 24th, Will Sacay 29th, Zander Cobb 40th, Brady Hogan 52nd and Ayenew Devany 73rd.

Southern Idaho repeated in the women’s standings with El Paso’s Faith Nyathi winning her second singles title over Iowa Western’s Mercy Biwott. The two also finished 1-2 last year.

Garcia Grafing, a sophomore, clocked a time of 18:38.5 to finish eighth, while McCreedy, also a sophomore, finished 11th in 18:57.6. Zinash Valen was 44th, Britney Brown 50th, Kenzie Kaperka 108th, Brook Haley 133rd and Kate Miron 145th.

“We had several runners who came up to us and pulled through us,” said Brown. “Kenzie was exceptional with the women and Jed, our deputy, proved to be our secret weapon.

“I’m so proud of every single one of them.”

The Tritons will return here Tuesday at the NJCAA Half Marathon Championships.

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