Triton women claim sixth half-marathon championship | News, Sports, Jobs

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Iowa Central cross country program wrapped up another eventful and successful season here Tuesday at the NJCAA Half Marathon Championships.

The Triton women took their sixth team title while the men took bronze behind individual winner Aspel Kiprob, who was repeat champion.

Chloe Garcia Grafing, Zinash Valen, and Taylor McCreedy each earned All-American honors, finishing fourth, fifth, and sixth. Behind those results, Iowa repelled Central New Mexico JC by eight points.

Kenzie Kaperka was 35th and Brook Haley 45th for the Tritons.

“The women were amazing” said ICCC head coach Dee Brown. “I knew their goal was to win, I just wasn’t sure how likely it really was.

“They ran patiently and very smartly. For all three, winning All-American honors was just as exciting as winning. I’m so happy for them.”

Garcia Grafing clocked a time of 1:28.33 while Valen and McCreedy finished in a shared time of 1:29.03. Over the weekend, Garcia Grafing placed eighth and McCreedy placed eleventh at the NJCAA Cross Country Championships.

El Paso’s Faith Nyathi, a multiple cross-country race winner, did the same by winning her second half-marathon title over New Mexico’s Damaris Chewon. A total of 15 teams fought for the title.

In the men’s, Northwest Kansas beat El Paso for its first tiebreak title, while Iowa secured Central New Mexico for third place. The fourth runner was the crucial number to break both ties.

Kiprob, a sixth-place finisher in cross country, clocked a winning time of 1:07.11 with teammate Jed Elmbarki in ninth and Ayenew Devany in 17th.

“Aspel was at least 50 meters down with 1.5 miles to go and had a great finish to defend his title.” said Brown. “The boys were really exhausted from Saturday. We weren’t even sure if Aspel would run as he was ill, but he toughened up and ran well.

“They really gave everything they had.”

Yared Kidane was 20th and Brady Hogan 22nd as 21 teams comprised the field and a handful of individuals also competed.

At the cross-country championships, the Triton men placed second overall and the women placed fifth.

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