High altitude tests T-Birds at Colorado College Invitiational

Sophomore runner Thandeka Manzana
Sophomore runner Thandeka Manzana

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — The Cloud County Community College cross country teams had a trying Saturday at the Colorado College Invitational in the high Rocky Mountain altitude of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

"Our runners had a tough time preparing for the altitude," said Cloud County head coach, Drew Mahin. "They stressed over how it would affect their first mile. That caused our kids to be cautious and reserved the whole race."

Sophomore Moses Dirane, who won the Masterson Twilight Classic in Hutchinson a week earlier, exited the race early with a hip flexor injury.

It was a bad break in what was a tough race for the Cloud men's team. Sophomore Thobile Mosito earned the highest finish for the T-Birds, coming in 32nd out of 100 runners with a time of 26:59.60.

Fellow sophomore Stephen Marindich crossed the finish line in 69th place (29:40.70), while freshman Burke Deters was 83rd overall (31:16.90).

In the women's race, sophomore Thandeka Manzana was Cloud's top finisher in 78th place with a time of 28:33.80. The freshmen duo of Alexis Cook and Sadie Jones finished in 83rd and 84th, respectively.

The T-Birds will enjoy the rest of their team bounding trip our west and look to bounce back next weekend when they travel to Lincoln, Nebraska for the Woody Greeno/Dirksen Cross Country Invitational, co-hosted by Nebraska Wesleyan University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

"This long weekend will be a good chance to bond with the team," Mahin said. "We will take this as a learning experience heading into bigger meets."