The second week of September brought top-10 national rankings to both the Lon Morris College women’s and men’s cross country teams, both of whom are in just their second year of existence.
The Lady Bearcats nailed down a No. 7 ranking in the NJCAA Division I poll while the men came in at No. 10.
Each squad won its respective division in its own meet in late August and then followed that fete up with top-five finishes at the University of Houston Meet in the days prior to the revealing of the lofty rankings.
The LMC squads, coached by Kent Willis, continued to perform well throughout the fall and did so by competing against many NCAA Division I schools as well as other four-year colleges.
The LMC cross county units won both the men’s and women’s title at the University of Texas-Tyler Invitational as well as defeating Texas Wesleyan University (NAIA, Division I) in a dual meet.
In early November the LMC runners journey to Spartanburg, S.C. to take part in the 2010 NJCAA National Cross Country Championships, which were staged at Spartanburg Methodist College.
Each LMC team wet on to finish in the top 20 in the meet.
Lady Bearcats competing were, Olivia McKinney (Lufkin), Jade Hartsfield (Lufkin), Vanessa Olvera (Splendora), Julieta Esquvail (Kaufman), Benadine Kosom (Kenya), Beatrice Kipruto (Kenya) and Rachel Nesloney (Ben Wheeler, Texas).
The LMC men to make the trip were, Jason Hamilton (Dallardsville, Texas), Logan Foster (Palestine), Jesse Vigil (Flower Mound), Rodrigo Molina (Lufkin), Justin Stanaland (Magnolia, Texas), Jose Leos (Lufkin), Steven Marshall (Gladewater), Chad Nelson (Buffalo, Texas), Aaron Kervin (Zavalla, Texas) and Julio Infante (Houston).