Over the weekend the Colby Community College cross country teams ran in arguably one of the most competitive races in the region. The Fort Hays State Tiger Open at Sand Plum in Victoria draws over 700 runners between two divisions.
With 19 teams competing in each field, the CCC women finished third and the men finished fourth.
“At the Tiger Open, we got a real good look at some of the best teams in the region, as well as getting to go against very competitive four-year universities,” said head coach Cameron Rieth. “Our men and women threw it down over the weekend.”
Eighteen of 20 Trojan runners that competed set personal bests.
On the women’s side, Winnie Kibet took 1:15 off her personal best with a time of 18:17.5, finishing third overall.
“Sharon Kimutai and Breanna Pratt both came out of the woodwork with two minute personal bests and Jess Ixta came back from a little injury to throw down a 45-second,” Rieth added.
Rieth said the CCC men equally stepped up.
Abel Ketema ran a personal best by over two minutes in the 8K, finishing eighth overall.
Rieth said Iley Bruce (26:29), Isaac Sanchez (26:46), Oscar Leyva (26:46) and Orion LaMotte (28:35) also significantly surpassed their personal bests.
“Our guys ran tough, but we are still looking for a number five runner that can step up in a hurry. Time will tell, but I believe we have a few guys that are up to the challenge.”
The performance at the Tiger Open left both Trojan teams believing they are at a level to compete with the best.
“If we walked away with one thing, it is that we are at least in the discussion,” Rieth said. “You never know what will happen on race day. We still have a lot of work to do in the next 3 weeks, and we only take it one day at a time.”
Up next for the Trojans is the Region VI Championships in Hutchinson on Oct. 29.