Tritons set to host national tournament

The Iowa Central women kept one of their two cross country streaks alive two weeks ago, and on Saturday, they hope to keep the second one intact.

The Tritons grabbed their 10th consecutive regional title at Lakeside, and this afternoon, they’ll attempt to win their third consecutive national title for the first time on their home track.

The Iowa Central men’s and women’s teams will host the NJCAA National cross country meet inside Kennedy Park.

The men will run at 11 a.m. and the women will hit the track at noon.

“It’s great to run at home,” said Iowa Central head coach Dee Brown. “They get to sleep in their own beds and don’t have to take long bus rides.

“We’ll have family, teachers and staff watching them and supporting them. We’ll have a fan section we’ve rarely seen before, like we did at regionals.”

The top-ranked women have won four of the last six national titles. Iowa Central nearly pulled off a perfect score at regionals, grabbing first, second and fourth through eighth individually.

Hannah Maina earned the gold and Aden Alemu was second. Fort Dodge Senior High graduate Tara Jackson placed fourth. Cecilia David and Lindsay Roberts rounded out the Triton counters.

Maina was Region XI female athlete of the meet.

“They (the women) are running very well,” Brown said. “Last year’s team was one of the best we’ve ever had, and this year’s team is very comparable to that.”

The men also won a regional crown, giving them six titles overall.

Frankline Tonui grabbed the individual gold for the Tritons and Tahir Chakisso was second. Dylan Eigenberger and Blake Whalen followed in third and fourth. Tyson Wieland rounded out the counters with a sixth place showing.

“I’m very excited for the men,” Brown said. “We have two guys that’ll be toward the front and the next three are a very solid pack and will get in there to work their way up.”

There will be 318 men competitors and 303 women runners, representing approximately 70 NJCAA institutions from all over the United States.

“The best teams from all over the United States will be here,” Brown said. “It’s incredible to see all of these teams come to Fort Dodge and compete.”