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GCCC shines in indoor track debut

By GCCC Sports Information

HIGHLAND - Despite a fall semester riddled with cancellations, Angel Ayala never wilted. And he's carried that momentum into the indoor season.

The Garden City native punched the Broncbusters first individual victory of the season, taking home first in the 1000-meter race on Saturday at the Highland Challenge.

"I'm very proud of how this team did in our opening meet," Head Coach Emmett Statzer said. "A lot of our athletes have been waiting for this day as most of them missed opportunities to compete due to COVID last year."

Ayala was gold again, notching a time of 2:44.35, a good two seconds faster than Highland's Wyatt Allen. But the man to watch out for in 2021 is Isaiah Armstrong. The Holcomb product who transferred from Wichita State, tallied a blazing 1:34.86 in the 600-meter run, sprinting past Highland's Walker Stromgren for first place.

"We are really excited about Isaiah," Statzer added. "He's a special athlete for sure."

Ayala and Armstrong weren't the only highlights of the weekend. Sophomore Debonaire Williams finished third in the men's heptathlon with a personal best score of 4,075 while teammate Cameron Collins totaled 3,038 points. Meantime, Jereun Wagner took second in the 55-meter dash, posting a time of 6.58 seconds; then came back to finish second in the 200-meters (24.06). Noah Gentry came in second in the 55-meter hurdles, clocking in at 8.94 seconds, Tahj Ferguson put up a mark of 21' 6.25 in the long jump-good for second place; Matryion Easley was third in the 200, and Froy Ruiz grabbed bronze in the 1,000-meter race, running a time of 2:56.81.

"We still have a lot of work to do," Statzer explained.

On the women’s side, Diondra Wilborn made a splash during her Broncbusters debut.

The freshman from Aurora, CO, took home gold in the 55-meter hurdles and silver in the 200-meter dash at the Highland Challenge over the weekend.

"This team has definitely set the standard very high," Head Coach Emmett Statzer said. "I can tell you this: the best is yet to come."

Wilborn posted a time of 8.53 seconds in the 55-meter hurdles, edging out Cloud County's Keiana Newman. She followed that up with a runner-up finish in the 200, coming in at 26.68 seconds. Meantime, That Brown took third in the 200 (27.60) while the women's 4x400 team of Wilborn, Erica Davis, Bethany Schupman and Abigail Pinnock, came in third with a time of 4:32.41.

"We still have some work to do all the way around, but pretty good for our first race," Statzer added.

Both Broncbusters squads are back in action Saturday, competing in the All-Kansas Invite at Washburn University.