STERLING — The Central Christian College cross country team had its first action of the season on Friday in the Warrior Fest Invitational hosted by Sterling College.
The Tigers took seven runners, four men and three women. Two of the Tiger runners ran unattached as they await their eligibility to clear the NAIA eligibility clearing house. With only three runners for the men and two for the women competing for Central no team score was awarded to the Tigers.
In the men's race, the Tigers' Jeremy Stark, who had to run unattached, actually won the race with a time of 27:40.22. Matthew Haynes also finished in the Top 10 with a time of 29:14.7, setting a new personal record eclipsing his old PR by over 2 1/2 minutes. Rounding out the men's times were Josh Wardle in 11th place with a time of 32:16.9 and Karlo Mandani with a time of 37:22.9 good enough for 16th place.
In the women's race, freshman Alyssia Johnson paced the Tiger runners by finishing in 9th place with a personal best of 22:54.8. Minako Iwata ran unattached and finished just behind Johnson with a time of 24:32.4. Cierra Hess finished in 16th place with a time of 26:05.2.
"The rain held off and aside from a little wind, we had nice conditions for the race,” CCC coach Dan Swaney said. “It was even cooler than expected and that made for good races. The women went first and aside from everyone going out too fast in the first mile, all three women hung on to run well. Alyssia Johnson broke her high school PR by 28 seconds and Cierra Hess ran 30 seconds faster than she did last year. In the men's race, Jeremy Stark ran with a lead group of six for the first four miles before he started to break away with less than a mile to go and broke up the pack. Two guys stayed with him and outkicked the KCAC 3K steeplechase champion over the last 200 meters to win the race. Matt Haynes started close to the lead guys, which was a little too fast for him, but he held on and finished with a PR by 2:38."
The CCC Harriers will be back in action next Saturday at “The Romp at the Ridge" in Hutchinson hosted by Hutchinson Community College. Race times are 10:00 a.m. for the women and 10:45 a.m. for the men.