Johnson County Community College
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Tyler Cundith, sports information director, ext. 3122


W. Cross Country – Lady Cavaliers know three-peat

10/29/13

W. Cross Country – Lady Cavaliers know three-peat

Paige MillerOVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The Johnson County Community College women’s cross country team earned a place in team history Monday at the 2013 Region VI/Jayhawk Conference Cross Country Championships at Westar/Prairie Ridge Park in Hutchinson, Kan. The Lady Cavaliers finished as the top team in the Region VI and Jayhawk East standings for a third consecutive year. It is the second Region VI three-peat in the program’s history, but the first since 1994-96. The JCCC women’s team has won the conference title 19 times in its history, 13 under head coach Mike Bloemker. 

Four JCCC runners placed among the top 15 finishers to earn All-Region honors, including three in the top 10, and Bloemker was named the Region VI Women’s Coach of the Year. The Lady Cavaliers also had two others finish in the top 20, giving the team a 14-point margin over runner-up Butler. JCCC dominated the Jayhawk East women’s standings, outscoring Allen 24-69. 

“I wasn’t surprised we won,” said Bloemker. “Our goal was for five to earn All-Region. Our fifth runner placed 16th, so we almost did it. I think this team is really underrated. They just have not run fast yet in a meet, due to a myriad of circumstances. The course was really rough and probably a little long. I wanted the ladies to get control of the meet by 1,000-meters, and we did that.” 

Freshman Paige Miller led the way for Johnson County, finishing the 5k course in 20:50.1, good for sixth place overall. That also earned a runner-up finish in the East Jayhawk Conference. 

Freshman Katie Nelson and sophomore Michala Ruder were close behind in eighth and ninth, finishing in 20:53.5 and 20:55.1, respectively. They finished third and fourth in the conference. 

Freshman Sydney Simpson crossed the finish line in 14th place with a time of 21:19.2 to earn All-Region. She also was seventh in the conference. 

Freshman Marie Cellitti and sophomore Abi Hartzell round out the top 20 finishers for JCCC. Cellitti placed 16th with a time of 21:31.6, and Hartzell was 18th with a time of 21:34.7. They placed eighth and 10th respectively in the conference standings. 

“Paige, Katie and Michala were fantastic, and Sydney ran a tough race,” said Bloemker. “I can’t say enough about the efforts of Marie and Abi. They were keys to winning. We put six in front of everyone’s no. 4 runner, and seven in before almost everyone’s no. 5. I think we will have a great national meet. We plan to get some rest, have a couple workouts and see what happens.” 

The NJCAA Championships are Saturday, Nov. 9 at Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge, Iowa.  Host Iowa Central will be looking for a national championship three-peat, and the Lady Cavaliers will look to finish in the top five for the first time since 2006. JCCC won a national championship in 2000. 

JCCC Region VI and Jayhawk East performances: 

Freshman Paige Miller – 6th Region VI, 2nd Jayhawk East – 20:51.01
Freshman Katie Nelson – 8th Region VI, 3rd Jayhawk East – 20:53.5
Sophomore Michala Ruder – 9th Region VI, 4th Jayhawk East – 20:55.1
Freshman Sydney Simpson – 14th Region VI, 7th Jayhawk East – 21:19.2
Freshman Marie Cellitti – 16th Region VI, 8th Jayhawk East – 21:31.6
Sophomore Abi Hartzell – 18th Region VI, 10th Jayhawk East – 21:34.7
Sophomore Mackenzie Gorthy – 34th Region VI, 12th Jayhawk East – 22:19.6
Freshman Makenzie Herren – 45th Region VI, 20th Jayhawk East – 22:42.1

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For schedules, rosters, and other team information, go to www.jccc.edu/cavs.