Cloud County's Awet Beraki Earns National Runner-Up Finish Running Second-Fastest Time in History
Defending NJCAA 1/2 Marathon National Champion Awet Beraki would run the second-fastest time in NJCAA 1/2 Marathon Championship history to finish as National Runner-Up and lead the Cloud County Community College men's cross country team to a fourth-place team finish as the 2021 NJCAA 1/2 Marathon Championships held at Dorey Park in Henrico, Virginia on Tuesday, November 16th.
Scoring a total of 41 points as a team, the T-Birds would trail only National Champion Iowa Central (21 points), Northwest Kansas Tech (22 points), and Trinidad State (26 points). Rounding out the top-five and finishing just nine points back of Cloud County in fifth would be Hagerstown CC (50 points).
Earning his second All-American honors in the span of four days, Beraki would post a time of 1:04:10.6 to be bested by a mere seven seconds to Aspel Kiprob of Iowa Central Community College who would post the fastest 1/2 Marathon time in history. Beraki's time was nearly a full minute faster than his National Title winning pace a year ago that saw the Colorado Springs, CO native post what was the third-fastest time in NJCAA 1/2 Marathon Championship history.
Second-year freshman Michael Iyali would shave nearly four minutes of his time from last year and earn an 18th-place finish for the T-Birds with a time of 1:09:15.80 while Kelvin Kemboi would be the third and final scorer for CCCC in 23rd with a time of 1:10:40.1. Competing in the 1/2 Marathon Championships for the first time in his career to earn a 44th-place finish would be Elmer Sotelo (1:15:42.1) while Linus Limo would take 54th in the 110-runner field with a time of 1:17:21.20.
Cloud County would have one lone individual compete on the women's side as freshman Lucy Ndungu would compete for the T-Birds and finish with the third-fastest time among Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference runners. Looking for a strong finish in the 56-runner field, Ndungu would post a time of 1:30:32.70 and finish in 14th overall in her first appearance in the NJCAA 1/2 Marathon Championships.