Over the weekend the Trinidad State Cross Country teams traveled to Crete, Nebraska to participate in the Region IX Championships. A cool morning brought perfect weather for racing over a scenic and rolling course. The women's race brought great competition between the Trojans and Central Wyoming College. The race was led from start to finish by TSJC's Sheilah Cheruiyot who finished in 19:27. Cheruiyot has led the Trojans in every meet of the season and added a dominant performance and Regional Championship to her resume. Coach Masterson was pleased with the freshmen's win saying, "Sheilah has done everything we've asked of her throughout the year. She took control of this race from the very beginning and showed she is one of the best in the country." Mary Baldwin finished in second place, giving the Trojans the top two placers, in a time of 20:24. The next three places went to runners from Central Wyoming ahead of Trinidad's Ashlee Ferrari, who finished in 21:31 to earn 6th place. Rachel McKinley (25:50), Camryn Mileta (26:59), and Jessica Arrellano (28:26) turned in great performances in their first cross country races ever. Despite strong performances the Trojans were bested by one point by Central Wyoming College, 26-27. "Though we took second place, I'm overall pleased with our ladies' effort. We are in a good place heading into the National Championships in two weeks," commented Coach Masterson.
The men's race was led from start to finish by four Trojans who took the lead from the gun and never relinquished it. Devin Paredes led the early miles with Miguel Coca, Felix Kemei and Bailey Smith close behind. Though the quartet switched places over the course of the race, the top 4 guys were never passed by any competitors. Miguel Coca narrowly pulled away from Kemei in the final homestretch to win the Region IX title in 25:25. Kemei was only three seconds behind in 25:28. Third and fourth place were also taken by Trojan runners in Devin Paredes (26:12) and Bailey Smith (26:23) respectively. "Our guys sweeping the top four spots in leading from start to finish showed toughness," praised Coach Masterson. "The course had more hills than expected that challenged us to hold the lead. Despite our guys not resting up for this race they performed very well." Micah Stanton rounded out TSJC's scoring five in 6th place with a time of 26:57. Caleb Palmer (9th; 28:04), Jose Ildefonso (12th; 29:19), Andy Setser (14th; 29:49), and Joseph Enright (16th; 31:12) helped make the Trojan?s presence felt with good performances.
After the regional championships the Trinidad State Men's Cross Country team is currently ranked 8th Nationally in the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll, which was released Wednesday October 30th. The National Championships take place on November 9th at the University of New Mexico North Golf Course.