WSCC ATHLETICS: Women’s cross country finishes program-best 5th at nationals; men place 15th

Wallace State’s Women’s cross country team placed 5th at the NJCAA Division II National Championships. (WSCC Athletics)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Wallace State’s women’s cross country team secured a program-best fifth-place finish at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Cross Country National Championships over the weekend in Richmond, Va.

Meanwhile, the Wallace State men finished 15th overall.

For the Wallace State women, sophomore Macie Ellis and freshman Aylin Vega were each named NJCAA All-Americans for their top finishes in the 5K. Ellis finished 12th overall, recording a 19:26.4. Vega was a second behind Ellis, registering a 19:27.4 for 13th place.

Ellis, the 2021 ACCC Runner of the Year, improved on her conference meet time of 19:57.13, which earned her the individual title in October. Vega, a Fort Payne native, was the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) meet individual runner-up.

At nationals, 47-year-old Dani Akridge had Wallace State’s third-best finish, clocking in with a 20:13.5 for 30th overall. Read more about Akridge’s unconventional journey to joining the team |

Sophomore Jaycee Biffle was next for the Lady Lions, finishing with a 20:24.2 for a spot among the top 40.

Rounding out the nationals field for Wallace State was Ally Amerson (20:55.7), Ashleigh White (21:20.0) and Alexis Crisp (22:13.5).

The Wallace State women improved on last season’s sixth-place finish at nationals.

For the Wallace State men, sophomore Raleigh Stamps registered the team’s best time. He clocked in with a 27:46.9, finishing among the top 50 individuals, in a field of 221 runners. Stamps was the ACCC meet individual runner-up in October.

Dakota Sheppard was next for the Lions, finishing with a 28:14.1. Jonathan Collett was five spots behind his teammate with a 28:20.2.

Rounding out the field for the Lions were Joseph Arraiga (29.00.9), Jikori James (29:03.6), Mason Worrell (29.07.2) and Andrew Wrenn (29.31.7).

Both Wallace State teams advanced to nationals after each won their fourth consecutive ACCC championship meets on Oct. 29. It was the ninth conference title for the men and sixth for the women.  

Head coach Stan Narewski was named the 2021 ACCC Coach of the Year for both programs. He is assisted by Tony Crider.

See the full results from both meets |

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