Chattahoochee Tech once again hosts NJCAA Half Marathon

Chattahoochee Tech once again hosts NJCAA Half Marathon

- DALLAS, Ga.

Iowa Central Community College and El Paso Community College produced individual champions and took the team men’s and women’s titles, respectively, at the NJCAA Half-marathon National Championships on Saturday at the Silver Comet Trail. It was the second time that Chattahoochee Tech had hosted the junior college championship race, with the first time in 2011.

As in 2011, the race course of approximately 13.1 miles began at the Paulding County Government Complex and quickly transitioned to the Silver Comet Trail, ending at Tara Drummond Park. There were 100 men’s runners from 17 teams and 91 women from 15 teams competing in the race on Saturday in cool, foggy conditions.

The Iowa Central men were led by a pair of talented runners who finished 1-2 in the race. Sophomore Tahir Chakisso pushed across the finish line just ahead of freshman teammate Frankline Tonui, with Chakisso taking Iowa Central’s third straight individual title with a time of 1:06:11.48 and Tonui finishing in 1:06:12.36. Both marks broke the existing NJCAA national record set by Iowa Central’s Stanley Kebenei in 2011 on the same course. On Nov. 9, Tonui had finished second and Chakisso third overall at the national cross country championships, which Iowa Central hosted.

Iowa Central placed runners in seventh, 12th and 16th to help secure the team title, the Tritons’ third consecutive.

“The best for me is the national championship for the team,” said Chakisso. “We came here to win the national championship, and those plans worked out. We worked really hard this season and it paid off.”

The El Paso women’s team also sported an individual champion, Andra Amaro, who crossed the finish line in 1:24:56.05 to become the school’s third female title-winner. Shannon Luevano (fourth) and Brisa Carrillo (10th) helped El Paso to the program’s second team title, as did finishes of 24th and 47th. Amaro finished 11th at last weekend’s cross country championships.

“It feels good,” Amaro said of the individual and team wins. “We all pushed hard and we all worked together. It’s all about team effort and pushing each other.”

Gillette and El Paso rounded out the top three team scores for the men, and Vincennes and Gillette finished second and third for the women. Iowa Central took fourth in the women’s standings.

Full race results can be found at NJCAA.org.