Colby Community College Head Coach James Ortiz and the men’s cross country and track teams accomplished something this year that no other teams have done since the Division I merger in 2003. The CCC men’s track & field achieved the elusive Triple Crown of the Region VI running sports by winning the 2014 Region VI Outdoor Track & Field Champions in Arkansas City May 2-3. CCC won the Cross Country, Indoor Track and Outdoor Track, and Field this year. Prior to this season, Colby had earned only one men’s Region VI title (Cross Country in 2012) in the school’s Division I history.
“Region VI is the most competitive region in the country,” said Ortiz. “There’s a reason this hasn’t happened since the merger.”
On the way to sweeping the Region VI running events, CCC also swept the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) West titles this academic year.
Colby was led by freshman distance runner Christopher Speaks (Coldsprings, Tex.) who earned the Region VI High Point Male Athlete award. This award goes to the individual who scores the most points throughout the entire competition.
“Chris came to me at the beginning of the week asking me to place him in extra events.” said Ortiz. “He’s a freshman but showed the leadership of an upperclassman.”
Speaks went on to win the 10,000 meter run and finish second in the 5,000 meter run and the 3,000 meter steeplechase—the three longest races of the competition.
Sophomore Mike Kinuthia (Kenya) was also honored earning Region VI Men’s Co-Track Athlete of the meet. This distinguished award is given to the best performer on the track. Kinuthia won all three events in which he competed—men’s 1500 meter run, 800 meter run and he was a member of the winning 4 x 800 meter relay.
“This is a special group of young men. They came from all over the world and this weekend you would have thought they grew up together. Their goal as a whole to win the Triple Crown really brought them together,” stated Ortiz.
Colby finished the weekend with seven Region Champions, 16 All-Region performances, and four school records.
Region champions include Speaks (10,000 meter run), Kinuthia (800 meter and 1500 meter runs), Gennard Paul (Long Jump), Desmond Major (Decathlon, 4 x 800 relay, 4 x 400 meter relay).
The 4 x 800 meter relay of Kinuthia, Robert Monticone, Josh Quiroga and Noe Belmares (7:40.11) was one of the relays to set a school record over the weekend. The other relay was the 4 x 400 meter relay of Fabian Hayles, Dontrell Lyons, Raheem Brown and Anthony Stephens. They ran the relay with a time of 3:11.20.
Other school records included Lyons running 20.70 in the Men’s 200 meter dash and Paul jumping 15.32 meters (50-03.25) in the Men’s Triple Jump.
“I didn’t know what to expect going into the weekend. It’s been a long year and our guys are a little beat up,” said Ortiz. “These guys needed rest and instead we asked them to go above and beyond to win the region title.”
In the final team standings, Colby posted 150.5 points topping fellow NJCAA Indoor National runner-up’s Coffeyville with 134 points. Rounding off the top was Allen County, 129 points; Cloud, 74 points; and Hutchinson with 69 points.
Outdoor Track Team Region VI Champions