After winning a regional title in both men’s and women’s competition last month, the LCC cross country teams have one more goal left this season: win a national championship.
The Stars were scheduled to travel to Rend Lake College in Ina, Ill., Nov. 10 to compete in the NJCAA National Championship meet.
The LCC women headed into the contest ranked third in the nation, while the men enter the prestigious meet ranked fifth.
The Stars look to bring Lansing its first National Championship since 2007. Rend Lake College also hosted the 2007 National Championship meet.
This year, LCC Head Coach Chuck Block will send his top seven runners on both teams to the national meet.
As for women, Block will send Abigail Cottom of Holt, Jessica D’Haena of DeWitt, Taylor Knoll of Warren, Jaclyn Magness of Grand Ledge, Amy Stillman of Eaton Rapids, Brianna Wiles of Ionia and Viviana Alamillo of St. Johns.
The men Block will send are Brandon Beckman of Chesaning, Nick Ferris of Eaton Rapids, Chris Gantt of Dowagiac, Logan Lindsay of Charlotte, Joe Marrah of Lansing, Nick Moon of Dansville and Grand Webber of Ostego.
“With this team, I think they are more excited than nervous,” Block said. “We put a lot of pressure on the regional meet and now that we have accomplished that goal we are ready and focused on the national meet.”
Moon, who has carried the Stars for most of the season, also shared his excitement for the national meet.
“It’s a big meet, obviously,” he said. “There are going to be a lot of good runners and a lot of people watching. I want our team to get top three in the nation. I think that would be a pretty big accomplishment.”
Over 40 teams from around the country are scheduled to compete at the meet, with the women starting at 10 a.m. and the men at 11 a.m.
Magness said she is looking forward to the atmosphere of the national stage the most.
“I’m nervous because it’s a huge meet and we have a shot to place really well individually and as a team,” Magness said. “Just the aspect of running against people from all over the country is amazing. We’ve had some great coaching to get to this point.”
Block has won a regional title with either the men or women every year since he began coaching at LCC 11 years ago. He has been named NJCAA Region XII Coach of the Year every year since 2001.
“Both teams are healthy and running strong and confident and ready,” Block said. This is a very big meet with great competition. I believe both teams can be top three in the nation, with the women having a better chance at it.”
Magness said she is not letting the pressure get to her head.
“This year I have learned to push myself in running and to always believe in myself,” she said.
“If I set my mind to running well then I will.”