Mutai wins men’s individual title at Hutch

GCCC Sports Information Services

HUTCHINSON -  Garden City Community College’s cross country teams were in action on Friday in the Terry Masterson Classic at Hutchinson, with the men’s Dennis Mutai winning the men’s individual race. Both the men and women teams finished in seventh place on the night.

MEN

Emmett Statzer was tasked with rebuilding the GCCC cross-country program from the ground up. And in just over a year, the numbers have grown significantly. So has their success.

Freshman Dennis Mutai won the four-mile race while setting a new school record along the way, and the Broncbuster men finished seventh as a team, scoring 170 points.

"We still have a ways to go, but I like how we competed," Statzer said afterwards.

Mutai clocked in with a time of 19:48.7, almost 20 seconds faster than Cloud County's Awet Beraki. And that wasn't even his most impressive feat. The first-year long-distance star ran a 4:57.2 average mile.

Meantime, Kelvin Cheruiyot timed out at 20:51, good for seventh place while his posted mark was the fourth best in school history at the event. Teammate Angel Ayala placed 45th (23:03), Jose "Froy" Ruiz posted a new personal best distance time of 23:27-good for 58th place, Elisha Handsaker was 78th (24.06), and Zaccerie Penka came in 89th at 24:26.

Cloud County won the team title with Cowley, Washburn, Fort Scott, and Newman rounding out the top five.

WOMEN

It was well worth the wait.

After a three-year hiatus, the Broncbuster women's cross-country team returned to action in fine style on Friday, placing seventh at the Terry Masterson Classic at Hutchinson Community College.

Shareen Cheruiyot was Garden City's top finisher, taking seventh with a time of 19:43. She also broke the school record in the three-mile run.

Teammate Valentine Lagat clocked in at 19:54-good for 14th place. It was also the second best three-mile time in school history. Jania Don Juan was 65th (22:27), Taylor Thorp was 80th (23:39), and Andrea Serrano marked the sixth best time in school history for the distance with a time of 24:13.

"We've been getting after it at practice," Head Coach, Emmett Statzer said. "They raced very well for their first time out, and that was all because of their preparation."

Meagan Burkhart took seventh (26:25), and Rebecca Pots was eighth (26:41).

Washburn won the team title.

Garden City’s teams returns to action on Sept. 18 at the Oklahoma State Jamboree in Stillwater, OK.