ARKANSAS CITY – Holding a 12-point lead in the team standings heading into the final day of action, the number-six nationally ranked Cloud County Community College women's track and field team would fend off a furious rally from number-three ranked Barton Community College to win the 2021 NJCAA Region VI Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the Mark A. Phillips Track Complex in Arkansas City on Saturday.
Finishing with 178 points, CCCC would edge the Cougars who would come back from sitting in fourth place after the second day to take second with 172 points. Third-place Butler would be the only other team to crack 100 points by finishing with 100 total points while host Cowley (90 points) and Fort Scott (86 points) would round out the top-five of the 14-team meet.
With the win, Cloud County manages to pull off the sweep of the 2020-21 NJCAA Region VI Cross Country, Indoor Track and Field, and Outdoor Track and Field team titles as the team title in indoor track and field back in March was the first in 40 years for the program. T-Bird head coach would also bring home Coach of the Year honors for coaching Cloud County to the two NJCAA Region VI Titles this season as CCCC would have a total of four Region VI Champions and seven runner-up finishes in different events.
Saturday would see two athletes for the T-Birds etch their names into history as NJCAA Region VI Champions with pole vaulter Georgia Bell (3.05 meters, 10 ft. – 0 in.) and distance runner Ludjenie Mondesir (3,000-meter steeplechase, 12:08.97) both winning their events.
Getting both a runner-up finish and national qualifying time in the 400-meter hurdles would be Tashira Edwards with a time of 1:02.96 while sophomore Patricia Koma would earn a pair of runner-up finishes (1,500 meters – 4:46.10, 5,000 meters – 19:02.31). CCCC's remaining three runner-up finishes would come from Kya Johnson in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (12:38.47), Leonie Beu in the 400 meters (54.79) and Pamela Milano in the 800 meters (2:16.48).
Beu would go on to take third as part of the 4x100 meter relay team (Isila Apkup, Mercy Ntia-Obong, Beu, and Passion Crews – 46.27) and seventh in the 200 meters (24.49). The 4x100 meter relay time would be a new national qualifying mark for the T-Birds as would the time posted by Halle Johnson in the 1,500 meters (4:58.98) as the sophomore would also add a third-place finish in the 5,000-meters (19:17.91). The remaining two top-six finishes on the track for Cloud County would come from Apkup in the 400 meters (56.64) and Abigail Fisher in the 800 meters (2:23.34).
In field events, Cloud County would get a third-place finish in the shot put from Marie Forbes (14.27 meters, 46 ft. – 10 in.) and a fourth-place finish from Faithlyn Irving in the triple jump (11.87 meters, 38 ft. – 11.5 in.). Irving would go on to post a fifth-place finish in the high jump (1.51 meters, 4 ft. – 11.5 in.) as would Maycee Callihan in the shot put (12.54 meters, 41 ft. – 1.75 in.).
CCCC will look to ride the momentum of a Region VI Championship into the 2021 NJCAA Division I Outdoor National Championships which is set to begin on May 11. The three-day meet will take place on the campus of South Plains College in Levelland, Texas as the T-Birds will look to build on their 2021 Indoor National Championship performance that saw the T-Birds finish third in the nation. A full list of Cloud County national qualifiers will be announced later in the week once qualified entries are submitted for this year's championship meet.