Herkimer Cross Country closes out successful season at Nationals
WESTFIELD, MA – The Herkimer Generals excellent 2019 campaign came to a close this past Saturday (11/2) with one more big effort, as the cross-country teams competed at the NJCAA Division III National Championships hosted by Holyoke Community College.
The women’s contest saw Suffolk Community College knock off three-time defending champion Harper, 27-91, for their fourth championship gold, and first since 2015. The Sharks also had the individual champion, as freshman Alexandra Smith (Shoreham-Wading River/Shoreham, NY) completed the 5,000 meter course in a time of 18:34.03, finishing nearly 30 seconds ahead of 2nd place.
The women’s team, struggling all season long just to field a complete team, finishing the season complete and finishing in 11th place. They were led once more by Alyssa Jones (Central Valley Academy/Ilion, NY) who finished the 5,000 meter course in a time of 27:32.91, good for 96th place overall. Following her were Lauren Horowitz (Washingtonville/Washingtonville, NY) in 104th place (29:14.33), Ellia Dannible (Cobleskill-Richmondville/Warnersville, NY) in 105th (29:16.57) Gianna Durso (Notre Dame/Utica, NY) who placed 118th (33:38.00) and Alizee Embry (Thomas R. Proctor/Utica, NY) in 119th (39:40.00).
On the men’s end of the coin, Harper saw it’s eight year reign at the top come to an end, as Mineral Area College out of Missouri put three guys in the top 10 and two others in the top 30, to become the new champion, 54-79, over Howard College of Maryland. The individual champion was Edwin Kipainoi (Olkejuado/Kajiado, Kenya) of St. Charles Community College. It was a close contest individually, as Edwin’s time of 26:30.96 for the 8,000 meter course was less than 3 seconds faster than that of the runner-up finisher in Fulton-Montgomery’s Sebastian Mills, the Region III winner just a week ago.
The General men, 3rd at last week’s nail-biter of a regional contest, wound up taking 11th in the national field, totaling 311 points to turn in the 2nd best performance by a Region III team. Wakeem Medina (Schenectady/Schenectady, NY) wound up placing 24th individually, with a time of 28:15.00. He was the 17th best underclassman in the field, a good sign of things to come next year.
Following Medina to the finish were Lewis Lewis (Thomas R. Proctor/Utica, NY) in 50th (29:16.99), Andrew Yacobucci (Canajoharie/Canajoharie, NY) in 71st (29:48.98), Christopher Hardin (Rome Free Academy/Rome, NY) in 95th (30:37.60), Nick Kennedy (Central Valley Academy/Ilion, NY) in 119th (31:38.87), William Crews (Thomas R. Proctor/Utica, NY) in 151st (33:27.06) and James Briody (Cairo-Durham/Cairo, NY) in 194th (40:34.75).
Congratulations to the Herkimer Generals on a terrific season!