Busters take 3rd in Region VI XC
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
Just eight points seperated Garden City Community College's men's cross country team and Jayhawk-foe Allen County during Monday's Region VI Championships in Hutchinson.
The Broncbusters finished with 81 points to Allen's 73. Those eight points slotted Garden City in third place, while Allen County was second. Colby ran away with the team title with an 35 points.
"Through three miles, we were neck-and-neck with Colby," head coach Ryan Turner said about his team on the 8-kilometer Westar Prairie Ridge Park Cross Country Course. "I thought we had a chance to win a region championship, but we fell back and the course got the best of us."
While Colby pulled away from the Busters, Allen County just edged GCCC's No. 2 through No. 5 runners. The top five runners for Allen scored 6, 12, 15, 16 and 24 points, while the top five Busters scored 4, 13, 17, 22 and 25.
Sophomore Alfredo Lebron led the way in fourth place — the only Buster to beat his counterpart on Allen's squad — with a time of 26 minutes, 16.0 seconds.
"If Alfredo does what he did, and if the next four (Busters) pass two more guys each, we beat Allen County," the first-year coach said. "I definitely think we scared them."
Rounding out the scoring for the Busters were Babiker Babiker (13th, 26:57.7), Jose Zavala (17th, 27:20.7), Anthony Hamilton (22nd, 27:39.8) and Tyler Eddings (25th, 27:50.9).
"We just kind of unfolded a bit in the last two miles," Turner said. "But I told the guys afterwards that, 'I couldn't ask for anything more.' They went out and tried to win a regional championship."
Garden City finished in the same slot they did in 2012, behind first-place Colby and second-place Allen County.
"I think they're disappointed they did not win a region championship, but at the end of the day, I'll bet there's a lot of other teams out there that wish they could bring home a third-place trophy," Turner said.
This year, those teams are fourth-place Highland (145 points), Hutchinson (fifth, 145), Johnson County (sixth, 159), Cowley County (seventh, 166), Coffeyville (eighth, 244), Cloud County (ninth, 270), Hesston College (10th, 270), Butler (11th, 298), Barton County (12th, 316), and Dodge City (13th, 330).
Rounding out the non-scoring places for the Busters were Fidel Munoz (41st, 28:46.3), Christian Resley (55th, 29:10.6), Jalen Rowland (56th, 29:15.0), Oscar Sarceno (66th, 30:08.5) and Jacob Martin (96th, 32:18.8).
Meanwhile, the women's squad was limited to only five runners at the meet. Yet, they still managed a seventh-place finish with 178 points. Johnson County took the top spot with 53 points, followed by Butler (67), Hutch (71), Dodge City (122), Allen County (158) and Cowley County (165). Behind the Lady Busters were Highland (210), Colby (213), Coffeyville (242) and Cloud County (259).
It was the first time the Lady Busters were able to compete with five runners for two meets, giving the Lady Busters a chance to place as a team, even if it did mean that freshman Sandra Thornton had to run on a swollen ankle.
Sophomore Jenny Boroughs, who ran for Turner at Pratt last season, paced the Lady Busters with a fith-place finish in the 5K, scoring a time of 20:47.3. Following Boroughs were Anahy Castro in 12th (21:03.0), Jaden Bolmer in 48th (22:50.3), Thornton in 60th (24:05.2) and Karla Perez in 84th (29:41.1).
"I think it's really exciting and fun to see some girls in our program having success," Turner said.
With Boroughs' fifth, she was also named to the All-Region VI team, alongside Lebron and Babiker, whose finishes for the men earned them a spot on the men's All-Region team.
Boroughs will be one of three Lady Buster runners who will compete at the NJCAA Championships on Nov. 9 at Iowa Central University in Fort Dodge, Iowa, as individual entries.
Boroughs will be joined by Castro and Bolmer.
The men's team will take their top eight finishers at regionals — seven runners and an alternate — to compete at the NJCAA Championships as a team. Lebron, Babiker, Zavala, Hamilton, Eddings, Munoz and Resley will comprise the seven-man competitive team, while Rowland will serve as an alternate.
The Region VI results were also split into Jayhawk West and Jayhawk East race results after the meet. In the Jayhawk West, the men were second with 58 points, behind Colby's 32, and in front of Hutch's 75, Cloud's 129, Butler's 148, Barton's 155 and Dodge City's 156.
The women took fourth with 103 points. Butler was atop the women's results with 37, followed Hutch (43), Dodge (72), Garden, Colby (124) and Cloud (152).
The top seven finishers in the west were also named to the All-Conference team, leaving Lebron as a representative for the men in fourth, and Boroughs (fourth) and Castro (sixth) as the reps for the Lady Busters.