WSCC ATHLETICS: Cross Country teams finish in top 10 at NJCAA championships, half marathon

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Wallace State Community College’s Cross Country teams each finished in the top 10 at the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Cross Country Championships held recently at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Fla. (WSCC)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Wallace State Community College’s Cross Country teams each finished in the top 10 at the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Cross Country Championships held recently at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Fla.

The women’s cross country team finished fifth in the nation in their 5,000-meter race. Aylin Vega, a sophomore from Fort Payne finished ninth overall with a time of 19:40.5 and was named the NJCAA District 2 Cross Country Women’s Athlete of the Year.

Vega, Kendall Harbison, Danielle Akridge and Princess Watts each earned All-American honors. Harbison, a freshman from Vinemont finished 13th with a time of 19:43.9; Akridge, a sophomore from Bremen finished 25th with a time of 20:28.6; and Princess Watts, a freshman from Alexandria finished 28th with a time of 20:32.2.

Also competing in the 218-runner field for Wallace State were freshman Elizabeth Bryan of Falkville (60 – 21:14.0), sophomore Jaycee Biffle of Florence (65 – 21:23.6), and freshman Alexis Valentine of Gadsden (99 – 22:10.4).

The men’s team finished ninth in the nation in their 8,000-meter race, with freshmen Colin Mayfield and Jonathan Phillips finishing in the top 50. Mayfield, of Geraldine, finished 41st in the 226-runner field, with a time of 27:34.9. Phillips, of Pearl, Miss., finished 49th with a time of 28:07.4.

Also competing for Wallace State were Luke Holcombe a freshman from Gadsden (65 – 28:30.9), Ryan Maudsley a freshman from Gadsden (75 – 28:50.4), Jonathan Collett, a sophomore from Bremen (81 – 28:56.9), Andrew Wren (104 – 25:28.5) and Rodrigo Patino a freshman from Albertville (118 – 30:01.4).

Fifth- and eighth-place finishes in NJCAA Half Marathon 

In the half marathon also held in Tallahassee, the women finished fifth and the men finished eighth.

For the women, Aylin Vega, Kendall Harbison and Alexis Valentine, each finished among the top 30 runners. Vega completed the 13.1 miles in 1:33:47 to finish 13th. Harbison, a freshman from Vinemont, came in at 17 with a time of 1:35:00. Valentine, a freshman from Gadsden, placed 26th, with a time of 1:39:12.

Finishing out the top five for the team, were sophomore Jaycee Biffle who came in at 34 with a time of 1:43:58, and Elizabeth Bryan, a freshman from Falkville who finished 48th with a time of 1:50:10.

For the men, Ryan Maudsley, Rodrigo Patino and Jonathan Collet secured the top three places for the Wallace State team.

Maudsley, a freshman from Gadsden, finished the race in 33rd place with a time of 1:15:59.49. Patino, a freshman from Albertville came in at 38th with a time of 1:17:19.06. Collett, a sophomore from Bremen, was right behind at 39th with a time of 1:17:23.33. Rounding out the team’s top five runners was sophomore Andrew Wren of Grant, 42nd, 1:18:09.83, and freshman Johnathan Phillips of Pearl River, Miss., 50th, 1:20:20.00.

Both teams earned Alabama Community College Conference championship titles last month, with the men earning their 10th ACCC title and the women their fifth. Coach Stan Narewski earned 2022 ACCC Coach of the Year awards in both men’s and women’s cross country.

For more information about Wallace State’s Cross Country teams, contact Narewski at 256.352.7880 or stan.narewski@wallacestate.edu.