Cloud County Women's Cross Country Earns Second-Straight National Runner-Up Team Finish

Cloud County Women's Cross Country Earns Second-Straight National Runner-Up Team Finish

Three top-20 finishers and two NJCAA All-Americans would lead the Cloud County Community College women's cross country team to their second-consecutive NJCAA Division I National Runner-Up Finish at the 2021 NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championships at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, Virginia on Saturday, November 13th.

"The momentum we had from 2020 took a while to find this year as we really didn't have an identity until the last three or so weeks of the season" said head coach Drew Mahin in a post-race interview. "We saw a lot of teams fall back in the race due to the wind, but our girls were tough when they needed to be and ran a great team race." "We had leaders return from 2020 but had some adversity through injuries this year that hasn't really allowed us to have a full complement of runners until this race." "The freshman we added to the team took a while to find their confidence but we are really excited about what Lucy NdunguMelody Ochana, and Christina Beard were able to accomplish today and moving forward." "I made it a point in the past few weeks to really push running together and the girls knocked it out of the park today." "I was honestly surprised by the second-place team finish, but I am super happy for the girls and know that this is huge for our program to have back-to-back podium finishes and to end the year on a high note despite all the adversity we have had to overcome." "Lots of great memories from this group and what they've been able to accomplish."  

As a team, the T-Birds would finish with 128 points in the 23-team field, 11 points ahead of third-place El Paso Community College (139 points). The College of Southern Idaho managed to win their first National Title in program history by finishing with four runners in the top-15 to score a total of 60 points while New Mexico Junior College (143 points) and Iowa Western (146 points) rounded out the top-five in the team scoring.

Second-team NJCAA All-American status would be sophomore Ludjenie Mondesir with an eighth-place finish in a time of 18:53.50 and freshman Lucy Ndungu in 10th with a time of 18:56.70 as the duo would finish as the top-two runners from the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference. Just missing out on All-American status by finishing in 19th was freshman Melody Ochana by running a time of 19:12.40 ahead of the next T-Bird in Pamela Milano who finished 37th with a time of 19:41.90. CCCC would also have Abigail Fisher run in a time of 20:20.20 for a 56th-place finish along with Emma Holthaus (62nd, 20:28.70) and Christina Beard (75th, 20:56.20) competing on the day with the T-Birds averaging a time of 19:25 as a team throughout the day.

What's Next?
Cloud County's Lucy Ndungu is scheduled to compete in the 2021 NJCAA 1/2 Marathon Championships on Tuesday, November 16th with the 13.1-mile race set to start at 10 AM (EST). Fans wanting to follow along to Ndungu can do so with live results at the following link: 2021 NJCAA 1/2 Marathon Championship Live Results.