October 22, 2003
Cowley cross country teams gearing up for shot at titles
The wait is over! Having put in numerous hours of training to prepare for this moment, the Cowley County Community College cross country teams will get their chance to shine at the Jayhawk Conference/Region VI Championships Monday at Lake Barton in Great Bend.
The Lady Tigers are the conference’s defending champion in the East, while the Cowley men placed second at last year’s league meet. Both Tiger teams finished third in Region VI.
“This is what we do all the running over the summer for,” Cowley coach Mark Phillips said. “It is all of our goal to win a conference and regional championship.”
This year, the Lady Tigers have battled some injury problems and have not run a full team since the Missouri Southern Stampede on Sept. 20. Still, the Cowley women are ranked seventh in the latest national poll.
Ruth Kinyanjui (knee) and Jenna Boswell (shin splints) were unable to compete at Cowley’s last meet, but should be ready to go on Monday.
“If the girls can all run and get through the race without getting hurt, we can finish among the top of the conference, and finish in the top three in the region,” Phillips said. “Johnson County is a strong favorite in the conference. I’ll never say we can’t win because you never know what can happen. But, it will be a tall order for us to repeat as conference champions.”
Kinyanjui finished third in the conference and fourth in the region as a freshman.
“If she’s feeling good, she can be at that level again,” Phillips said.
The Cowley men are ranked third in the NJCAA and are heading into the championships in good health.
Despite having to run against No. 1-ranked Butler County, Phillips likes his team’s chances at capturing the conference and Region VI titles, thanks to Kenyan sophomore Josephat Boit, who has won three races this season.
“It is going to be a real fight with Johnson in the conference,” Phillips said. “They are real similar to us, but what we have that they don’t have is Boit. And in the region, it should come down to us and Butler. We could have four guys finish in the top 10. If we can do that, we have a very good chance.”
Jake Conley, who placed fourth at last year’s conference championships, along with freshmen Tim Marshall and Julius Times, will look to finish in the top 10.
The women’s race will begin at 10:15 a.m., and the men’s race is set to begin at 11. The course is flat but has a lot of turns, which will make it tough to run very fast times.