Cross country teams in Region XII have to wait another year to try to dethrone the LCC men’s and women’s teams from the regional title.
No team came close to challenging either team Oct. 26 at the NJCAA Region XII Meet at Grand Woods Park in Lansing. The LCC men won handily by 32 points and the women won by 34 points.
LCC freshman Grant Webber was the first finisher for LCC in the men’s race, placing fifth out of 66 runners with a time of 26:15. Second across the line for LCC was sophomore Chris Gantt in seventh place with a time of 26:21.
The women’s team had an even more impressive performance with LCC freshman Alison Dible finishing second overall out of 66 with a time of 19:16. Sophomore Viviana Alamillo finished seventh overall in 19:31.
“I was really, really happy,” said LCC Head Coach Chuck Block. “The other teams in the region ran well. It’s getting harder and harder but we still win.”
As has been the story for the majority of the 2013 season, both LCC teams used their depth and talent to keep their title streaks alive.
“On the guy’s side, we didn’t get the performances up front that we thought we would get,” Block said. “But we got the performance from our depth.”
Following the regional, Block selected his top runners for the NJCAA National Championship Nov. 9 in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
After the final rankings were selected Nov .5, Block said his teams would be traveling with a chip on their shoulders. The men were ranked ninth and the women were fifth heading into the nationals.
“I think we are a whole lot better than that, I really do,” Block said prior to the meet. “I think we are going to surprise a lot of people, especially the guys.”
LCC sophomore Joe Marrah shared his coach’s high ambitions, explaining he wants to finish 2013 on a successful note.
“I am looking to finish All-American, I believe that’s top 25,” Marrah said. “It has been a goal since the summer and I want to go out there and achieve it. Hopefully Chris (Gantt) will do it with me.”
The national meet was the last race for some of Block’s runners; it would be special to be able to leave a mark on a national stage to prove they have reached the top.
“I am excited, I really think this team is ready,” said Block. “They have been training hard, they have a great attitude.”
Block said he had every bit of confidence in his runners heading to Iowa.
“This year I’m going in thinking, ‘Hey we are ready and we can do it,’” he said.
Results of the meet will be available in the Nov. 25 issue of The Lookout.