KIBET, HUTCH MEN CAPTURE THIRD TEAM TITLE

The Blue Dragon men's cross country team won its third-straight team title on Saturday, winning the Emporia State Invitational)
The Blue Dragon men's cross country team won its third-straight team title on Saturday, winning the Emporia State Invitational)

Hutchinson CC Sports Information

EMPORIA – The No. 10-nationally ranked Hutchinson Community College men's cross country team made another statement on Saturday by winning the Emporia State University Invitational at Jones Park.

The Blue Dragons have now won three-straight team championships in as many events this season, twice beating Jayhawk Conference and Region VI rival Cloud County by narrow margins.

At ESU, the Blue Dragons scored 52 team points, edging Cloud County by eight points.

The team title came down to the fifth runners on Saturday. Hutchinson's first four runners placed 1-5-13-16, while the Thunderbirds had the advantage through four runners with finishes of 2-3-4 and 16. Hutch's Jared Stark beat Cloud's fifth runner by 15 places to turn the team race toward the Blue Dragons.

Kibet won his third men's individual title with a time of 26 minutes, 9.3 seconds. Sylvestre Kibarar was fifth in 26:45.0. Brett Hillabrand was 13th in 27:23.6. Connor Kaufman was 16th in 27:35.8 and Stark's time was 27:47.0.

Three other Blue Dragons placed in the Top 50 on Saturday. Jason Luft was 27th in 28:04.6. Kade Gerlach was 36th in 28:21.3 and Gavin Alexander was 44th in 28:29.2.

Grant Clothier placed 52nd in 2900.8. Tony Ibarra as 60th in 29:18.1. Jacob Schartz was 102nd in 21:48.7 and Hunter Popkey was 107th in 32:22.4.

The Blue Dragons will run at the Fort Hays State Invitational next Saturday in Victoria.