The Colby Community College women's cross country team won the Jayhawk Conference western division championship at the Region VI meet Saturday in Hutchinson. 

Women's XC wins Jayhawk Conference Crown

Mon Oct 31, 2016 at 04:30 PM

The Colby Community College women's cross country team won the Jayhawk Conference western division championship at the Region VI meet Saturday in Hutchinson.

Freshman Winnie Kibet was the overall meet champion with a time of 18:28:54, smashing the 5K course record by more than 35 seconds.

According to head coach Cameron Rieth, the course was not for the faint of heart, as it had uneven ground, many turns, and no wind blocks.

"The course and conditions are nothing new in a typical Kansas day and nothing we haven't experienced before," he said. "In fact, it may have played to our advantage if we went in with the right mindset."

Despite the circumstances Kibet and Allen County's Kaitlyn Shoemaker (18:39.06) are the first in course history to finish in under 19 minutes.

"Even though Winnie is the most soft-spoken person I have ever met, she is a fierce competitor," Rieth said. She was not the favorite to win but as soon as the gun fired she took the race out at a blistering pace. I could not be prouder of her growth as a runner and her confidence in herself."

Freshman Sharon Kimutai (20:06.36) finished eleventh and sophomore Sarah Myers (20:06.94) finished twelfth.

"I think Sarah thrives whenever the conditions are not in her favor. She was only seven seconds off her personal best when most people were forty-five seconds to a minute slower."

Alane McWilliams (20:58.29) and Jessenia Ixta (21:01.93), 31st and 33rd respectively, rounded out the CCC scoring. As a team, the Lady Trojans secure their first conference title since 2012 and highest region finish (3rd) in the last 10 years.

"We are excited about how our kids competed but we can't live on what we have done in the past. We need to get rested up and then begin our final preparations for nationals right away."

The NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championships take place November 12 at Prairie Trails Golf Course in El Dorado.