TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Cloud County Community College women’s cross country runner Lucy Ndungu would earn a second-straight NJCAA All-American status with a fourth-place individual finish as the T-Bird women’s and men’s cross country teams would finish their respective seasons at the 2022 NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championships held at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Florida on Saturday, November 12th.
With seven runners representing the women’s team, Cloud County would finish the 5,000-meter women’s race with a score of 252 points to finish ninth, just four points back of Dodge City who took eight with 248 total points. In a 25-team field, the College of Southern Idaho would win their second-consecutive national title by finishing with 61 total points to beat out New Mexico Junior College who finished with 79 total points. The Cloud County men would not post a team score in the 8,000-meter race as the T-Birds would be represented by individual runners Kidus Misgina and Rylan Cheney.
Ndungu’s All-America honors would come in the form of first-team NJCAA All-American status this year as the Bridgeton, Missouri native would post a time of 18:21.00 to take fourth and finish as the highest-finishing runner from the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference. Improving upon last season’s 10th-place finish, Ndungu would finish just 33 seconds off the National Title-winning pace set by Faith Nyathi of El Paso Community College and finish just eight seconds back of the third-place individualist in Damaris Chewon of New Mexico Junior College. Cloud County would then see Melody Ochana earn a 32nd-place finish by posting a time of 19:49.50 before having Emmy Punches finish in 57th with a time of 20:47.30. Following punches would be Mary Kua (86th) with a time of 21:42.10 and Abigail Fisher (96th)-with a time of 21:52.40 to finish out CCCC’s five scoring runners. The T-Bird women would also have Nikola Prochazkova (111th, 22:28.50) and Bailey Rock (137th, 23:29.50) represent CCCC in the meet.
For the individualists representing the Cloud County men, Misgina would place 23rd overall among a field of 201 runners and post a time of 26:04.70 to finish as one of 12 men’s runners from the KJCCC to finish in the top 25 of the race. Cheney would finish in 90th place with a time of 28:44.90 in his final cross country race representing CCCC.