The Bruins hit the ground running.
The Salt Lake Community College women’s cross country team won not one but two national titles this week: the NJCAA National Championship on Saturday in Huntsville, Alabama, and the NJCAA Half Marathon on Tuesday. The wins mark the fourth and fifth NJCAA titles in the school’s history – and the first and second for a women’s sport at SLCC.
The SLCC women’s cross country team was ranked as the number one team in the nation for much of the season. The team won its first championship with a total of 47 points, while New Mexico Junior College came in second place, finishing with 93 points.
Leading the Bruins, Emerald Kehr came in second overall with a time of 17:35. Carli Nelson came in at 17:44, Grace Tipton at 18:05, and Molly Jensen at 18:18.
The SLCC men’s cross country team finished as runner-up with 78 points, falling to the Trinidad States’ 71 points. JaQuavious Harris made SLCC history by winning the NJCAA individuals title in the men’s 8K race with a remarkable time of 23:18.
Also for the Bruins, Talon Rodriguez ran a time of 24:21, Wyatt Wingard 24:40, and Finn Anspach 24:44.
‘Cherry on top’
Then on Tuesday, SLCC entered the half-marathon race, which resulted in another championship mere days after the program’s first. The SLCC women’s team finished with 18 points, beating out Iowa Western’s 32 points.
Leading the Bruins with a time of 1:22:31 was Lindsie Fausett. Brielle Lee came in at 1:24:20 and Molly Jensen also completed the race in 1:25:45.
“This was the first time we decided to run the half marathon,” said Bruin Head Coach Isaac Wood. “We treated it as kind of a ‘cherry on top’ opportunity to tie the season off with a nice bow, and the men and women really came out and knocked this one out of the park.”
SLCC’s men’s cross country team took third place in the half-marathon race with 37 points. New Mexico Junior College took home the men’s title with 14 points. Leading the Bruins and coming in 10th overall was Wyatt Wingard with a time of 1:09:03.
Wood expressed pride in his team and what they’ve been able to accomplish since they began competing last fall.
“A lot of our success can be tied back to the incredible support we have from the college, from the president down to the athletic director, and to our incredible staff,” Wood said. “None of this happens without them.”