CANYON, Texas – Split meet action for the Cloud County Community College track and field teams would lead to 12 new national qualifying marks and times as the T-Bird men would finish up action in the Jo Meaker Classic and Multi-Events hosted by West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, while a limited women's squad would put together a strong showing at the inaugural Bethel College Loren Reusser Invitational in North Newton on Saturday.
Nine of CCCC's 12 national qualifying marks and times would come courtesy of the Cloud County men as the T-Birds would go on to post 10 top-five finishes on the final day of action at the WTAMU Track and Field Complex to take fifth among 18 teams with 86.50 points. A pair of top-five finishes would come courtesy of the decathlon as Marcquiece Cade would finish third with 5,890 points while Andrew Betton took fifth with 5,543 points. Also joining the duo would be Renaldo Savoury who would take sixth in the two-day competition with 5,511 points.
An early start to the morning would not stop the trio of Awet Beraki (30:05.60), Edwin Kipainoi (33:11.78), and Linus Limo (33:44.47) as the three would finish second, fourth, and fifth in the 10,000 meters with national qualifying times in a race that began just after 8 a.m. local time. Another distance race qualifying time would come in the 5,000 meters as Habtamu Geta would finish second with a time of 15:05.88 in what was his only race of the day.
A pair of national qualifying times would come in the 400 meters as both Jaysaun Smith (48.04) and Timothy Nyinguan (48.10) managed to punch their ticket back to West Texas in May while Rylan Cheney would run a time of 1:55.11 in the 800 meters that would be converted down with the altitude of the facility to post a national qualifying time in his respective event. The remaining two national qualifying times would come in the 400-meter hurdles from Ephraim Lerkin (52.93) as the freshman would go on to help the 4x400 meter relay team (Emmanuel Wanga, Lerkin, Smith, and Nyinguan) run a time of 3:12.42 for a qualified time and third-place finish.
The Cloud County women would manage to score a total of 41 points despite having just six athletes compete across four events as the T-Birds would finish seventh in the 16-team meet. National qualifying marks and times would come courtesy of Marie Forbes in the hammer throw (50.51 meters, 165 ft. – 8 in.) and Isila Apkup (56.11) and Pamela Milano (56.34) in the 400 meters as Forbes would take first while Apkup and Milano would take second and fourth. Also competing in action down in North Newton would be Leonie Beu who would win the 400 meters with a time of 55.82 along with Britany Metz in the discus and hammer throw as well as Brenna Davidson in the javelin.
Cloud County will return to a more traditional weekend setup next weekend for the T-Birds as CCCC will head to Wichita to take part in the Friends University Invitational. The two-day meet will get underway on Friday.