COLLEGE CROSS COUNTRY: Wallace State cross country teams wrap up impressive seasons at NJCAA Division I National Championship


The Lions finished 22nd at NJCAA Division 1 Championships in Garden City, Kansas last week 

HANCEVILLE — Wallace State’s cross country teams wrapped up a memorable season recently at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Championships in Garden City, Kan.

Wallace State’s men finished 22nd overall at nationals, registering a 2:28.02 in the 8K. 

Tanner King, the 2018 Alabama Community College Conference Runner of the Year, once again had the best finish for Wallace State, earning a 28:20 in his first national championship meet. He was 76th overall among 284 competitors. King, a freshman from Northside High, won the conference meet last month with a 26:24. 

Freshman Eli Wilhite followed King for Wallace State with a 29:09. Wilhite, a Cullman native, was the Lions’ top runner in four races this season. 

Victor Bravo recorded a 29:28 in his final race with Wallace State, Alex Leary finished with a 30:00 and Hamza Abusammour a 31:03. Freshman Drake Patton (31:43) and sophomore Jacob Guthrie (32:41) rounded out the national championship field for the Lions. 

Central Arizona won the men’s national title with a 2:13.52. Iowa Central was runner-up, finishing six seconds behind.  

Wallace State’s men advanced to the national meet after finishing ACCC champion in the program’s second season since its reboot.  

Under the direction of coach Stan Narewski and assistant Tony Crider, Wallace State’s men had the top four finishers and five of the top eight at the conference meet. 

Meanwhile, Wallace State’s women finished 26th overall at nationals, totaling a 1:52 in the 5K. 

Freshman Jacqueline Serrano placed the highest for Wallace State, finishing with a 21:19 (71st overall). Serrano, a J.B. Pennington native, accounted for Wallace State’s best mark for the third time this season. 

Tatiana Padgett recorded the next best finish for the Lady Lions with a 21:37. 

Freshman Alexandra Holt finished behind Padgett with a 23:02, while Marlena Morales registered a 23:23.​​​​​​​

Makala Worrell (23:31), Taylor Barkley (23:44) and Miriam Smith (26:58) rounded out the Lady Lions’ field. 

Wallace State’s women also prevailed at the conference meet with six runners finishing in the top eight. In the women’s meet, Iowa Central won its seventh national championship. 

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