Women win nationals again
By Brodee Gillam
Back to back!
The LCC women’s cross country Stars went into the NJCAA Division I National Championships with high expectations. They left the El Dorado, Kansas with another trophy.
The 5K race was held on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Prairie Trails Golf Course. The Stars scored 103 points while the runners-up, Central Arizona and El Paso CC, both scored 106.
Regional champion freshman Casey Mossholder led the way once again as she was the first Star to finish. Mossholder placed eighth overall out of the 313 participants with a time of 18:22.
Mossholder’s top-15 finish earned her All-America honors.
LCC Head Coach Jim Robinson said he wasn’t surprised, but was impressed by Mossholder’s race.
“Casey has been very consistent, very strong all year long and has been improving all year long,” Robinson said. “We try to put our team in situations that will prepare them for this.”
Fellow LCC freshman Ashley Lindeman finished 15th overall in 18:45; her best time of the season.
Freshman Melissa Ricci finished 25th overall with a time of 19:03 in the national race for LCC. Sophomores Madison Slater (26th in 19:07) and Kaitlin Beyer (29th in 19:13) rounded out the top five LCC runners who scored.
Robinson said he was proud of the way his harriers fought throughout the race to pass other runners.
“Every place matters,” Robinson said. “If you can beat somebody to the finish line, you’ve got to do it because you never know if that’s going to be the point that’ll make the difference.”
Ricci said the course was hard for her to figure out early.
“I had gone out a little too fast in the beginning,” Ricci said. “(The amount) of people I had to get around; I used a lot of my energy trying to get around other people rather than being patient and trying to pace myself.”
Mossholder said the key to this season’s success was in the team’s camaraderie and unselfishness.
“Some people are faster than others, but at practice (we’re) running together; being positive, pushing each other,” Mossholder said. “They encourage each other because everybody has a bad race; everybody (can have) a bad season.
“So even for the girls who hadbad seasons they’ve been supportive of ones who have had good ones. We’re just very supportive of each other and that’s the biggest thing.”
The season culminated with Robinson being named the National Women’s Coach of the Year. Mossholder earned the Great Lakes Regional Athlete of the Year.