Both Triton squads in the hunt nationally
It was another banner season for the Iowa Central cross country program last year.
The Triton women won the NJCAA national title for a third straight season, while the men finished second.
Now, veteran head coach Dee Brown will look to add another high mark to the resume.
Five of the Top-7 return for the Iowa Central men in Frankline Tonui, Dylan Eigenberger, Blake Whalen, Tyson Wieland and Kyle Hosting.
Touni recorded a runner-up showing, while Eigenberger placed 11th. Both earned All-American honors for their finishes.
Wieland was 23rd last year, followed by Whalen’s 34th and Hosting in 53rd.
“We have a very strong returning sophomore class,” said Brown, in his 11th season.
Along with the returning sophomores, Brown mentioned sophomores Feysel Rahemto, Nathan Meiners and Marquis Cox, along with freshmen Oscar Carmona, Free Bump, Kenny Castro and Elisha Kipruto, as those who can make an impact.
The Tritons have earned three second place finishes at nationals and picked up a third consecutive NJCAA Half-Marathon title last year.
Former Fort Dodge runner Nic Ganzeveld joins the team, along with Webster City graduates Ethan Glenn and Adam McMurray. Also, Eagle Grove’s Noah Stephas is on the roster.
Kimberly Carter is back to lead the Triton women after placing 16th at nationals. They will need to replace Hannah Maina, who won the first-ever individual national championship last year.
Aden Alemu and Tara Jackson, who each placed inside the Top-10, have moved on.
“We’ll have a couple of track teammates of Kimberly’s joining us this year in Viola Kebenei and Marry Carr,” Brown said. “Viola was a national champion in the steeplechase and a runner-up in both the 10K and 5K, while Carr is a middle distance runner competing in cross country for the first time.
“Also, Cierra Guerrero, Angelica Gutierrez and Lindsey Buddenberg should make impacts for us.”
Fort Dodge’s Amberly Habhab and St. Edmond’s Jasmine Stokes are on the roster for the Tritons.
Iowa Central opens its season at the Mustang Gallop today in Cedar Rapids. The Region XI Championships are scheduled for Oct. 24 in Emmetsburg, with the NJCAA Nationals Championships taking place Nov. 8 in Lubbock, Tex.