The JJC men’s and women’s cross-country teams ran at Olivet Nazarene University on Sept. 25, and it was a learning experience for two young teams.
The two squads competed in the Tiger Cross Country Invitational against teams from several fouryear schools, including Olivet Nazarene, St. Francis, Calumet College and Trine University, as well as a few community colleges.
For the Lady Wolves, Tiffany Lehmann, who is running cross country for the first time this fall, led an all-freshman JJC squad, finishing no. 15 in a field of 110 women. She also finished first among all community college women.
Lehmann was followed by Yesenia Suarez, who finished at no. 60, Erica Nurczyk, who finished at no. 76, and Ivet Rosiles, who finished at no. 84.
On the men’s side, freshman Julian Rosenbach finished fifth among runners from community colleges, which included JJC, Heartland Community College and College of DuPage. Heartland finished with the top four community college runners. He finished no. 36 overall in a field of more than 130 runners.
Other solid finishers for the Wolves included fellow freshmen Nate Chaidez at no. 59, Nick Chaidez at 80, and Ryan Drysch at 95.
Right now, it is about the process for the Wolves, as each meet is a step in the right direction with two teams with lots of potential.
In earlier matches this season, the two squads opened their seasons in an invitational at Heartland Community College on Aug. 28. Both men’s and women’s teams participated. Pairs of runners for both teams placed in the top five, making for an early start to break into the season.
On Sept. 18, the Wolves added to a strong start to the season when they took part in another invitational hosted by Heartland. The men finished fourth in the invitational despite absences from two top runner’s sophomores Ruben Lopez and Alex Warrick.
The women had a major bright spot when Lehmann placed third in the 5,000-meter race in what was her first-ever race. Prior to the invitational, she had never run competitively.
Wolves will run next on Oct. 9 at the Heartland Community College Invite at Maxwell Park.