October 28, 2003
Cowley men's cross country wins Jayhawk East, finishes second in Region VI
GREAT BEND — With four runners earning all-conference honors, the Cowley County Community College men’s cross country team captured its first ever Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division title Monday, and finished just one point short of winning the Region VI title at the Region VI/Jayhawk Conference Championships held at Lake Barton in Great Bend.
The third-ranked Tigers got several strong performances in finishing ahead of defending champion Johnson County for the East crown. Cowley head coach Mark Phillips was the coach of that Johnson County team that won the East last season, so to come to Cowley and duplicate that success in his first season is quite an accomplishment.
“Beating Johnson County was very gratifying,” Phillips said. “Our kids competed incredible.”
Cowley nearly finished first in the Region VI Division I standings, but was edged out by top-ranked Butler County.
“It is a real bittersweet feeling to win the East, but finish one point from winning the Region Vi title,” Phillips said.
Cowley’s Josephat Boit continued his dominance in the NJCAA by becoming the Jayhawk East and Region VI individual champion. Boit finished with a winning time of 24 minutes, 46 seconds in the five-mile race, while his teammate, Jake Conley, finished second with a time of 26:37.
“Josephat ran a great race, it was one of his best races of the year,” Cowley assistant coach Rob Hayes said. “About the two-mile mark, he really dropped the hammer down. Jake also showed up huge for us and laid everything on the line.”
Freshmen Julius Times (26:59) and Tim Marshal (27:03) joined Boit and Conley as all-conference and all-region runners as they placed fourth and sixth, respectively.
“Julius and Tim ran really well,” Hayes said. “They broke up a group of Johnson County runners, which was huge for us.”
Mike Harney (27:41) gave a solid effort to finish as Cowley’s fifth runner.
“Mike competed extremely hard, I can’t say enough about him,” Hayes said.
The Cowley women, who entered the meet with four of five runners battling injuries, were unable to figure in the team scores as sophomore Ruth Kinyanjui’s knee injury stopped her from finishing the race.
Still, the Lady Tigers gave valiant efforts considering the circumstances.
“They all competed out of their minds,” Hayes said. “To finish the way they did was incredible.”
Rachel Harper led the Lady Tigers by earning all-conference and all-Region VI honors at the meet. Harper placed 11th in the conference and seventh in the region with a time of 20:55 in the 3.1-mile race.
Jenna Boswell, who has been battling a severe shin injury, ran through the pain and somehow managed to run a personal best time of 22:55.
Sarah Hasenbank (21:37) finished just out of earning all-conference and all-Region VI honors as she placed 11th in Region VI Division I, and 14th in the conference.
The Johnson County women won the Jayhawk East title, while the Butler County women took home the Region VI Division I title.
Amy Gochnour of Johnson County was the conference’s individual champion with a time of 18:56. Butler’s Ashley Kimble was the top runner in Region VI Division I with a time of 18:31.
Despite the injuries, Phillips plans to take the women’s team to compete at the NJCAA Nationals Nov. 8 in Lawrence.
“The odds are we will go ahead and enter a team and see what happens,” Phillips said. “It will be a wait-and-see thing with Ruth and Jenna. We will use this time to try and heal up. The kids we have are just incredibly tough.”
As for the Cowley men, Phillips is excited about the team’s chances at the national meet.
“This is a wonderful opportunity, as a coach I have never been in this situation,” Phillips said. “This group of men has a little bit of a swagger to them, and there is a very real possibility that we could go there and win.”
The NJCAA Nationals will be held at Kansas’ Rim Rock Farm course. The course has hosted numerous national competitions, including the NCAA Division I championships.
Cowley men’s Jayhawk East results:
1, Josephat Boit, 24:46, Conference Champion, All-Conference; 2, Jake Conley, 26:37, All-Conference; 4, Julius Times, 26:59, All-Conference; 6, Tim Marshal, 27:03, All-Conference; 10, Mike Harney, 27:41; 13, Nathan Newby, 28:14; 14, Eric Johnston, 28:23.
Cowley men’s Region VI Division 1 Results:
1, Josephat Boit, 24:46, Region Champion, All-Region; 2, Jake Conley, 26:37, All-Region; 4, Julius Times, 26:59, All-Region; 6, Tim Marshal, 27:03, All-Region, 10, Mike Harney, 27:41; 13, Nathan Newby, 28:14; 14, Eric Johnston, 28:23.
Men’s Jayhawk East team scores:
(1) Cowley, 23; (2) Johnson, 32; (3) Coffeyville, 88; (4) Highland, 107; (5) Neosho, 144.
Men’s Region VI Division I team scores were:
(1) Butler County, 37; (2) Cowley, 38; (3) Barton County, 63; (4) Garden City, 108.
Cowley women’s Jayhawk East results:
11, Rachel Harper, 20:55, All-Conference; 14, Sarah Hasenbank, 21:37; 17, Jenna Boswell, 22:55; 18, Brittney Pennington, 23:05.
Cowley women’s Region VI Division 1 results:
7, Rachel Harper, 20:55, All-Region; 11, Sarah Hasenbank, 21:37; 17, Jenna Boswell, 22:55; 18, Brittney Pennington, 23:05.