Garden City Community College’s Sandra Szpott made Buster history with a second-place finish in the NJCAA women’s cross country championship in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Saturday.
Szpott was third in the 2016 championships while with New Mexico Military Institute, before transferring to GCCC this year and besting her finish by one. She finished in 17 minutes, 43.9 seconds, while Iowa Central’s Adva Cohen won in 17:24.4 on her home course of Lakeside Golf Course.
Szpott was able to edge Colby’s Winnie Kibet (third, 17:54.8), who had beat Szpott at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course nearly two weeks earlier in the Region VI Championships. Szpott’s finish led the Buster women to a 27th-place finish with 747 points. Iowa Central won the team championship with 52 points.
Hannah Roemer finished in 127th for the Busters in 20:30.7, and Lordes Covarrubias was 197th in 21:41.4. Rounding out their top-five scores were Zoe Engler (23:26.8) in 271st and Ann-Marie Jones (24:14.3) in 282nd of the 311-runner field.
The Buster men took 39th as a team, led by Jesse Bebb’s 166th-place finish in 27:58.5. Oscar Guzman was 199th in 28:27.9, Edgar Avalos was 243rd (29:06.6) Alejandro Aguilar (29:30.9) 258th and Alex Narrette (30:16.7) 280th to round out the Busters’ five counting scores.
The Iowa Central men combined with the women to sweep the team titles with 65 points.