NIACC cross country teams open season Saturday

Amy Fullerton (front) is one of three returning sophomores for the NIACC women's cross country team.
Amy Fullerton (front) is one of three returning sophomores for the NIACC women's cross country team.

WHAT'S NEXT: The NIACC women's and men's cross country teams open the season Saturday at the NJCAA Region XI time trial on the Iowa Western campus. The women's 5K race starts at 11 a.m. with the men's 5K race starting at noon.

LAST SEASON: The NIACC women placed third at the NJCAA Region XI meet on the NIACC campus in Mason City with 74 points. The Lady Trojans placed 28th at the NJCAA Division I national meet in El Dorado, Kan. with 746 points. Sophomore Kendra Schmidt led the Lady Trojans at the national meet with a 107th place finish in 20 minutes, 29 seconds on the 5K course.

The NIACC men placed second at the regional meet in Mason City with 76 points and were ninth at the national meet with 380 points. Sophomore Wal Khat led the Trojans at nationals with a 17th place finish in 25:41 on the 8K course.

The NIACC men have placed in the top 15 at the national meet for nine straight seasons with the highest finishes being fourth in 2011 and fifth in 2012.

WOMEN'S RETURNERS: The Lady Trojans return three runners from last year's team. The returners are Amy Fullerton, Keisha Gonzague and Allison Steahr. Fullerton earned honorable mention all-region honors by placing 23rd at the regional meet and placed 190th at the national meet. Gonzague also was an honorable mention all-region selection as was 24th at regionals and 156th at nationals.

MEN'S RETURNERS: The Trojans return five sophomores from last season's team. The returners are David Carter, Samuel Dean, Blake Keller, John Kraft and Canyon Kuhlmann. Keller (16th at regionals), Kraft (20th at regionals) and Dean (23rd at regionals) were all honorable mention all-region selections. Keller placed 81st at the national meet.