Making a run for top team and individual spots in Region VI and Jayhawk Conference cross country, Allen County Community College’s runners finished up their regular season last weekend at the McPherson College Invitational.
The Red Devil teams did not go to Butler Community College’s meet Friday. Allen County head coach Vince DeGrado is working his runners to prepare for the 2011 Region VI/Jayhawk Conference meet Oct. 31 in Garden City.
Allen County’s men currently are ranked 19th in the NJCAA cross country poll. Three other Jayhawk Conference teams are in the top 20. Colby is fifth-ranked while Butler is 15th and Hutchinson is 20th.
“Our men’s team has a shot at winning the program’s first ever conference championship and finish higher in the region than we’ve ever finished,” DeGrado said.
Gabby Ruiz, who ran fourth at McPherson, tied for second on the ACCC women’s all-time cross country list. Ruiz ran the 5K race last week in 19 minutes, 39.80.
“I see her breaking that record at the conference meet. She has established herself as one of the top runners in the region and conference,” DeGrado said.
Brianna Jacobs finished 38th at McPherson in 21:43.80 and Kim Boyle turned in a time of 22:06.50. DeGrado said both women gained more experience with the 5K distance and now are starting to figure things out.
Evan Adams led the Red Devil men at McPherson, taking 12th in the 8K race. He ran the course in 27:24.30. Tegan Michael placed 18th in 27:42.10, followed by Garrett Colglazer in 19th at 27:44.30.
Josh Whittaker was ACCC’s No. 4 runner last week placing 26th in 28:05.30. Camille Charvet was 37th in 28:38.50, followed by Jacob Spence in 46th at 29:02.50, Kyle Stromgren in 49th at 29:17, Gerald Christian in 53rd at 29:26.20 and Josh Klubek in 33:32.10.
DeGrado said Adams started conservatively in the race and ran pretty tentatively until the very end when he started picking off runners from other teams. Michael, who has run No. 1 for the Red Devils this season, was hampered by a side stitch in the middle of the race.
“Garrett keeps impressing me along the way. He has come a long way since the beginning of the season. Josh Whittaker is another runner who is ready for that next step and needs to just believe in himself,” DeGrado said.
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