The Pratt Community College cross country team took on less than ideal weather as they traveled to participate in the Emporia State University Cross Country Invitational. The Beavers were met with wet and muddy running surfaces but persevered with high-performing times.
PCC raced alongside 13 other competing colleges and universities. Nearly 250 athletes took part in the event. The Beavers produced nine runners on the women's side and seven on the men's side.
The women's 5K race was led by Aminata Kenyawani who ran a time of 19:49.0. Kenyawani did not manage to run her usual time in the early 18 minute marks but was still the highest placing female athlete for her team. The sophomore finished as the tenth best athlete individually. Additionally, Kenyawani placed better than any other female junior college athlete.
Freshman Shantierra Jackson provided a spark for team with a new personal best that shaved off 14 seconds. A time of 20.18.4 earned Jackson her new personal best. She placed twenty-third among all other participants.
Pratt's women as a group placed ninth. The average team time for the ladies was 21:09.
The Lady Beavers are currently ranked No. 16 in the nation. PCC dropped from their pervious No. 9 spot after having a few weeks off competition. They will look to continue their surge at the national level when new polls are released on Oct. 17.
The Jayhawk Conference was well represented on the men's side. Five of the 13 schools that provided male long-distance runners were junior colleges belonging to the KJCCC.
Pratt finished tenth as a team in the men's 8K race. The blue and white had several personal bests that contributed to their successes. The combined efforts from all seven athletes made for an average team time of 30:17.
The Beaver's best time individual time belonged to freshman Erick Estrada. Quick feet landed Estrada a time of 28:26.5. The time marks a personal record by a whopping 23 second margin. Estrada has finished as PCC's fastest male runner each time out this season. This round he finished thirty-ninth individually.
The middle pack was led by sophomore Jared Shriver with a 30:18.4 time. Striver also achieved a personal best at the meet by improving three seconds. His efforts earned a seventy-eighth place finish.
Closely behind Striver was second-year runner Kylan Wess who crossed the finish line with a 30:31.7. Wess finished the race eighty-third out of 127 contestants.
The ninetieth and ninety-first place positions were fought for between sophomores Justin Castillo and Christian Collins. Six seconds separated the two men. Castillo pulled slightly ahead for a final time of 30:59.5. Collins took the spot next to his teammate by running a 31:05.7.
A combination of achievements from both genders made for a productive meet. The men will look to continue upon setting even faster personal bests while the women look to climb the national rankings.
PCC cross county will go the distance again at the Fort Hays State University Tiger Open on Oct. 13. The Beavers will sound off at the gun around 9 a.m.