It wasn’t quite what they wanted but the Allen County cross country teams still found themselves among the top teams in the country on Saturday. Both finished fifth at the NJCAA National Cross Country Meet in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Forty-five men’s teams and 42 women’s teams brought 633 total runners to compete.
The Red Devil men entered the meet with a goal of a top-three finish but came up short, finishing fifth with 222 total points, just one point shy of fourth place. Meanwhile, the Lady Devils, who came into the meet ranked ninth in the country, had the same goal of finishing their day on the podium but still ended up finishing a respectable fifth place with 204 team points.
The men got caught up in the crowd early leading to a rough start.
The Red Devils were 22nd as a team after the first mile but slowly worked their way up. By the second mile they had jumped up to 11th and by the third mile, they were sixth. By mile four they were still sixth but a big push on the home stretch got ACC into the top five.
Sophomore Paul Becker had a similar journey as his team, finding himself in 178th place after a mile and working his way up to finish 35th with a time of 26:15.3.
Freshman Berry King finished just behind him at 38th with a time of 26:25.3 while sophomore Anthony Glasgow (26:25.3) finished 41st, freshman Joshua Clethen (26:37.5) finished 50th, freshman Yoel Yoel (26:47.4) finished 65th, sophomore Alejandro Ruiz (27:22.1) finished 113th and Ludreche Bouanga (28:43.0) finished 215th.
The women were led by sophomore Abby Steinhauser who was the only Red Devil to finish in the top 20, finishing 19th with a time of 18:51.6.
Freshman Betty Ramos finished 40th with a time of 19:25.0, freshman Karen Perez (19:27.0) finished 43rd, freshman Amber Gloria (19:42.3) finished 58th, freshman Alexus Castor-Inscho (19:56.2) finished 77th and freshman Marianna Duenes-Gomez (20:03.7) finished 87th.
Allen County will be in action one final time this season when they compete in the NJCAA Half-Marathon Championships in Topeka. The race starts at 8 a.m.
PHOTO: Allen County runners Berry King and Yoel Yoel starting the national championship race on Saturday at Fort Dodge, Iowa. Photo courtesy of Vince DeGrado.