BLUE DRAGONS EARN FIRST MEET TITLE SINCE 2016

Andrew Kibet (160) and Sylvestre Kibarar (159) finish first and fourth, respectively, to lead the Blue Dragon men's cross country team to the team title of the 2018 Terry Masterson Twilight Classic on Friday at Fun Valley. (Steve Carpenter/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
Andrew Kibet (160) and Sylvestre Kibarar (159) finish first and fourth, respectively, to lead the Blue Dragon men's cross country team to the team title of the 2018 Terry Masterson Twilight Classic on Friday at Fun Valley. (Steve Carpenter/Blue Dragon Sports Information)

Hutchinson CC Sports Information

Andrew Kibet became the first Hutchinson Community College men's cross country individual champion in two years on Friday night when he won the 2018 season-opening Terry Masterson Twilight Classic.

That performance powered the Blue Dragons to their first team championship since 2016. Furthermore – combined with the Hutch women's Masterson Twilight team title earlier on Friday – Hutchinson swept a non-dual meet for the first time since the Blue Dragons captured both women's and men's titles at the 2005 McPherson College Invitational.

Hutchinson had six runners place in the Top 10 to score 29 team points. Runner-up Cloud County had 38 points, followed by Dodge City with 81, Pratt with 114 and McPherson College with 115.

The last non-dual race the Blue Dragons won was the 2016 Sterling Warrior Fest.

For the first 3 1/2 of the men's four-mile race, the individual title was up for grabs with a four-runner duel featuring Hutchinson's Kibet and Sylvestre Kibarar and Cloud County's Santino Kenyi and Dennis Kiptoo. That pack separated in the final half mile with Kibet winning by a margin of 6.10 seconds over runner-up Kenyi. Kibet won the race with a time of 19:32.70 to Kenyi's 19:38.80. Kiptoo was third in 19:46.79 and Kibarar was fourth in a time of 19:58.27.

Kibet is the first Blue Dragon individual champion since Victor Pedraza won the Sterling Warrior Fest in 2016.

The Blue Dragons had four-straight runners cross the finish line to place seventh through 10th, which was a big part of winning the team championship.

Sophomore Connor Kaufman was seventh in a time of 21:13.19. Freshman Brett Hillabrand was eighth in 21:39.83. Sophomore Kade Gerlach was ninth in 21:47.99 and sophomore Jared Stark was 10th in 21:50.81.

Sophomores Tony Ibarra, Gavin Alexander and Jason Luft finished 13th through 15th, respectively. Ibarra ran a time of 22:26.12, Alexander's time was 22:29.70 and Luft posted a time of 22:34.94. Sophomore Grant Clothier was 19th in 23:03.23.

Freshman Hunter Popkey placed 33rd in 24:57.50 and freshman Jacob Schartz was 41st in 25:59.36.

The Blue Dragons next run in two weeks at the Missouri Southern Stampede on Sept. 15 in Joplin, Missouri.