LINCOLN, Neb. – Splitting their squad to head to two different meets, the Cloud County Community College men's and women's track and field teams would see national qualifying marks set at both the University of Nebraska Frank Sevigne Husker Invite and the Doane University Fred Beile Open on Friday.
It would be a sixth-place finish and national qualifying mark set by Habtamu Geta in the 5,000 meters at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invite leading the T-Birds as the freshman would run a time of 15:09.53 in the final event of the evening. Cloud County would also get a strong performance on the men's side from Richard Newman in the long jump with a mark of 6.90 meters (22 ft. – 7.75 in.) to take 12th in a 28-person field while Stephen Holland would finish just 0.21 seconds shy of national qualifying mark in the 400 meters to finish with a time of 49.43.
Friday's best overall finish in Lincoln would come on the women's side as CCCC would get a second-place finish from Jacqueline Pokuaah in the long jump (5.99 meters, 19 ft. – 8 in.) while Mercy Ntia-Obong would run the third-best time among a 45-runner field in the 60 meters preliminaries to qualify for tomorrow's finals. Pokuaah would just miss out on tomorrow's 60-meter hurdles finals after running a time of 8.82 to finish with the 13th best qualifying time.
Earning a national qualifying mark at the Fred Beile Open in Crete, freshman Daniel Cope would take eighth in the weight throw with a toss of 15.92 meters (52 ft. – 2.75 in.) as the T-Bird men would post 11 top-eight finishes. Third-place finishes from Wayde Roman in the 400 meters (51.84), Gabriel Chinya in the 800 meters (2:00.37), and the 4x400 meter relay team consisting of Roman, Marcquiece Cade, Davit Lukava, and Andrew Betton (3:32.25) would lead the way for Cloud County along with a fourth-place finish from Johan Cobena in the long jump (6.47 meters, 21 ft. – 2.75 in.).
Lukava would add a fifth-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles with a finals time of 8.53 after running an 8.52 in the preliminaries while Cobena also posted a sixth-place finish in the high jump (1.91 meters, 6 ft. – 3.25 in.) The other top-eight finishes for the T-Bird men would come from Cade in the long jump with a seventh-place finish (6.23 meters, 20 ft. – 5.25 in.) along with eighth-place finishes from Betton in the 600 meters (1:31.58) Ablel Gebreselase in both the 800 meters (2:05.23) and 3,000 meters (9:41.29).
Leading the charge for the Cloud County women at the Fred Beile open would be Keiana Newman with a second-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles by running a time of 9.45 in the preliminaries before lowering her time to 9.18 in the finals. The triple jump would see two top-eight finishes for the T-Bird as Semaj McGhee would take fourth with a mark of 10.79 meters (35 ft. – 5 in.) while Sophie Jebose took seventh (10.38 meters, 34 ft. – 0.75 in.). Jebose would go on to add CCCC's other top-10 finish at the meet, taking ninth in the pole vault by clearing 2.92 meters (9 ft. – 7 in.).
The weekend will conclude for the T-Birds on Saturday, with the conclusion of the University of Nebraska Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational. Cloud County will see action get underway at 11:45 a.m. with both the men and women taking part in the action.