Saba Khvichava leads T-Birds to second-place finish at Emporia State University Invitational

Cloud County freshman Saba Khvichava finished second overall at Saturday's Emporia State University Invitational
Cloud County freshman Saba Khvichava finished second overall at Saturday's Emporia State University Invitational

EMPORIA, Kansas — After taking a week off, the Cloud County Community College cross country teams resumed the 2018 season on a muggy Saturday morning at the Emporia State University Invitational.

The Cloud County men's team picked up right where it left off, finishing second overall in the team standings with a score of 60— just eight points back of Hutchinson Community College at 52— in a 13-team field that included NJCAA, NAIA and NCAA Division II opponents.

"It was a tough race (Saturday) on a wet and muddy course," said Cloud County head coach, Drew Mahin. "We had a great battle with Hutchinson but we have a lot to work for the KJCCC/Region VI and NJCAA meets."

Cloud County freshman Saba Khvichava had a breakout performance Saturday as he produced the top time for the T-Birds while claiming second place overall with a time of 26:13.5.

Khvichava was followed closely by his fellow freshman standouts Kenyi Santino and Dennis Kiptoo.

Santino crossed the finish line in third place with a time of 26:16.6, while Kiptoo claimed fourth place with a mark of 26:29.5.

Freshmen Kwanele Mthembu and Thom Reynders produced the two other scoring times for the T-Birds on Saturday as Mthembu earned a 17th place finish (27:39.3) and Reynders came in 38th overall (28:23.2).

Ablel Gebreselase (47th overall, 28:39.9) and sophomore Burke Deters (56th overall, 29:12.6) rounded out Cloud County's top men finishers.

In the women's race, sophomore Janne Hamisi led the charge for the T-Birds with a 68th overall finish in a personal record time of 22:12.5.

Fellow sophomores Rebekah Thomas and Sadie Jones followed in 89th place (23:10.0) and 95th place (24:15.1), respectively. Freshman Reagan Emerson finished in 101st place with a time of 24:54.5.

Up next for Cloud County will be the Fort Hays State Tiger Open next Saturday, which will serve as the final tune-up before the T-Birds compete in the KJCCC/Region VI Championships on Oct. 27 in Winfield, Kansas.

Fort Hays State Tiger Open is scheduled to get underway at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13.