by David T. Mann, Sports Information Director
Ft. Dodge, Iowa – The Darton State College men’s and women’s cross country teams finished 25th and 26th, respectively, at the NJCAA D-1 Cross Country Championships in Ft. Dodge, Iowa, today.
The Cavaliers’ top five runners averaged a total time of 29:10 over the 8-kilometer (4.97-mile) race while battling uncomfortable weather and nearly 300 runners.
“We were right in the thick of it,” Darton State head cross country coach Bruce Skiles said. “And there was 25 to 30 mph winds out here.”
Freshman David Thornton led the Cavs, finishing in 28:11 and scoring 113 points. Freshmen Austin Stewart finished in 28:40 and scored 134 points, Victor Chicas finished in 28:54 and scored 144 points, and Jelani Omari finished in 29 minutes and scored 152 points while sophomore Richey Jordan finished in 31:06 and scored 218 points.
“We could’ve done a little better,” Skiles said. “My sophomores just didn’t run well today.”
Central Arizona College won with 38 points and an average 25:32 race time. Central Arizona’s freshman Harry Mulenga won the race in 24:39.
In the women’s race, sophomore Elena Oslund averaged a 6:03-mile pace to lead the Lady Cavaliers in the women’s 5K (3.1-mile) race.
“Elena and Lexi both ran good,” Skiles said. “They were both in the 20s.”
Oslund ran a 20:40 to score 90 points for Darton, and sophomore Alexis “Lexi” Skiles ran 20:54 to score 101 points. Freshmen Amber Braswell ran a 22:17 to score 170 points, Victoria Parra ran a 22:32 to score 179 points, and Jaishell Thomas ran a 22:35 to score 181 points.
The Lady Cavs totaled 721 points.
Iowa Central won the women’s race with 41 points, and averaged a 18:42 race. Iowa Central’s Hannah Maina, a freshman, won the race in 18:12.
North Georgia Technical College was the only other GCAA conference team besides Darton to race. The Wolves, competing only in the men’s 8K, finished 36th with 1006 points and averaged a 30:57 race time.