Wallace State’s women’s cross country team finished sixth in the country and the men finished eighth at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II National Cross Country Championships at Fort Dodge, Iowa, over the weekend.
The Lady Lions netted the best national finish in program history behind freshman Jennifer Aviles and Cassidy Winter, both finishing among the top 30. Aviles recorded a 20:16.91 in the women’s 5K, finishing 21st overall, and Winter was 28th with a 20:40.80. Jaycee Biffle had Wallace State’s third best finish (53rd overall) with a 21:35.93 and Juliana Ballew was next, recording a 21:36.69 (54th overall).
Ally Amerson placed fifth for the Lady Lions, clocking in at 21:42.41. Breanna Smith finished with a 22:12.83 and Maggie Graham with a 24:18.10.
Wallace State’s men also placed among the top ten in the country, finishing eighth overall. The Lions were sparked by sophomore Jonathan Jenkins, who finished the 8K in 26:46.55. He was 17th overall among 145 runners and named a NJCAA All-American. Jenkins, a Beauregard native, was also the ACCC meet individual runner-up and the 2020 ACCC Runner of the Year.
Trentan Williams was second for Wallace State and 43rd overall with a 27:55.35. Raleigh Stamps was four spots behind Williams, clocking in at 28:00.82 (47th overall).
Sophomore Taylor Nails placed fourth for the Lions, finishing at 28:17.95 (56th).
Dakota Sheppard (29:10.51), Jikori James (29:15.11) and Jonathan Collett (29:47.93) rounded out the Wallace State field.
Nineteen teams competed in the men’s 8K and 16 teams in the women’s 5K.
Both Wallace State teams advanced to nationals after each won their third consecutive Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) championship meets on Oct. 30. It was the eighth conference title for the men and fifth for the women.