Muskegon Community College men and women finish strong at NJCAA cross country nationals

By John Jarvi
Local Sports Journal

FORT DODGE, Iowa — Muskegon Community College’s men’s and women’s cross country teams both had respectable showings Saturday in the National Junior College Athletic Association national meets.

The MCC men finished in 14th place in a field of 39 teams and about 300 runners. It was the highest finish at the national championships since Muskegon CC won the team titles in 1963 and 1964.

Esrom Woldemichael had the best finish for the Jayhawk men when he came in 43rd overall and 40th in the teams standings. Woldemicheal had a 26:48.6 time for the 8K distance for coach Dan Fishel.

Also earning points for MCC were Jacob Baker, Alex Drew, Mathias Waterstradt and David Vanbergen. Baker, from Mona Shores, finished 83rd; Drew, from Coopersville, 91st; Waterstradt, from North Muskegon, 102nd; and Vanbergen, of Fruitport, 28:51.9.

In the women’s 5K race, Muskegon CC placed 24th out of 34 teams with 581 points. Summer Hussey, of Reeths-Puffer, came in 47th overall and 41st in the time competition with a 19:46.9 clocking. Andrea Lavigne, of Mason County Central, came in 57th; Samantha Eely, of Oakridge, 138th; Claudia Melton, of Grand Haven, 156th; and Brielle Johnson, of North Muskegon, 189th.

Iowa Central Community College and Central Arizona College dominated both races on the courses set up on the lakeside Municipal Golf Course.

Central Arizona had the individual winner in the men’s competition in Harry Mulenga. Mulenga finished the course in 24:39.5.  Central Arizona had four of the first seven runners to finish and won with 38 points.

Iowa Central followed with 53 points and South Plains College, from Texas, had 98 for third.

In the women’s race, Iowa Central ran away with the title with 41 points. Hannah Maina took individual honors with an 18:12.6 clocking as Iowa Central had three finishers in the first eight runners.

Central Arizona followed with 95 points while Gillette College, from Woming, had 170 points for third place. Lansing Community College came in fourth with 177 points.

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