If it seems like it’s been a while since the Hutchinson Community College cross country teams have been in action, it has.
Because of injury and illness, first-year head coach Rod Zook has adjusted his schedule to get his runners ready for the final stretch of the season. Thus, the 21st-ranked Blue Dragon men haven’t competed for two weeks and it’s been three weeks since the 17th-ranked Lady Dragons have competed.
The Blue Dragons will get back on the course on Saturday at the McPherson College Invitational at Lakeside Park. The women’s race begins at 10 a.m. with the men’s race at 10:30 a.m.
“We are getting healed up,” Zook said. “The women haven’t raced for three weeks and we expect the guys to get Isaac (Williams) and Zack (Weber) back. I think everybody is excited to get back on the course.”
The last time the Blue Dragon women ran, they finished third at the Tabor College Invitational.
That’s when freshman Cecilia Lane ran the third-fastest 5K time in HCC women’s history at 19 minutes, 18.49 seconds. Right on her heels was freshman Ashlynn Lambert, who ran the 10th fastest 5K time at 19:33.53 at Tabor.
The Blue Dragon men are also being paced by freshmen.
Oberlin Rojas just missed the Blue Dragon all-time Top 25 times with his seventh-place showing at the Emporia Stadium Invitational on Sept. 29 running a time of 25 minutes, 44.80. It was the first time since Mark Menefee in 1998 that a Blue Dragon men’s runner broke 26 minutes.
John Murphy III ran a 12th-place time of 26:18.80 at Emporia. HCC’s men finished ninth at ESU.
Zook should get the services of sophomores Isaac Williams and Zack Weber, both who missed the Emporia State meet because of injury.
This will be the Blue Dragons’ final meet before the Region VI championships on Oct. 27 in Overland Park.
(HCC Sports Information)