The Colby Community College men were runners-up in the region and the Jayhawk Conference western division and the women finished 5th overall and 2nd in the Jayhawk West at the Region VI/KJCCC Cross Country Championships Oct. 27 in Arkansas City.
"It goes to show how incredibly stacked our region was this year and why year-in and year-out the Kansas Junior College Conference is the deepest in the entire nation," said Trojans Head Coach Cameron Rieth. "There were four teams ranked in the top seven nationally, and four teams that had a legitimate shot of winning it all."
The Trojan men finished just four points behind Hutchinson, a team they had beaten Oct. 13 at the Fort Hays State Tiger Open.
"We ran well, just not well enough," Rieth said. "Give all the credit in the world to Hutch – those guys were the better team today."
Rieth said several Trojans hit new milestones.
"One major step up was from Austin Russell. He ran a 45-second personal best and filled in a much-needed void after our normal number five had to drop out because of a banged up hamstring.
Wesley Banguria ran a 54-second personal best to finish third overall.
"The kid just keeps getting stronger and more confident each time he races. Emmanuel Kipngetich also ran a gutsy race battling a hip injury."
With six teams ranked in the top 20 nationally, the women's race was just as competitive. As with the men, Rieth said many of the Trojan women also notched personal bests.
"Erika Alvarado continues to grind and improve each week. Although our girls have a solid pack, we do not have any front runners so we will need to keep focusing on pushing that pack up as far as we can. Our far-reaching goal was to finish in 4th, and we were just one point away. With all of the obstacles our girls have overcome this year, I am very proud of them."
Both teams are preparing for the Nov. 10 NJCAA Cross Country National Championships at the Buffalo Dunes Golf Course in Garden City.
"We still have big expectations for both teams," Rieth said. "We are firing on all cylinders now, and I cannot wait to see what our teams are capable of at the national meet."