Albuquerque, New Mexico – Bucks Cross Country took to the University of New Mexico's North Golf Course on Saturday morning with hopes of making a splash in the NJCAA Division I National Championship. Coming off their first Regional Championship, the Bucks had their sites on being ranked at the end of the season.
The men's race had 343 total competitors from across the country. The race was paced by Wesley Banguria from Colby Community College (KS) with a time of 22:55 for the 8K race. Leading the way for the Bucks was New Mexico's own Michael Tenorio. He led the team with a time of 27:51 to finish 138th. Next for the Bucks was the Mena foursome of Jordan Foster (28:38; 180th), Clint Buck (29:36; 216th), Robert McIntyre (30:15; 235th), and Cross Hughes (30:23; 236th). Non scoring members for the Bucks were JP Rojas (30:43; 249th) and Asael Sanchez (31:04; 253rd). The Bucks finished 37th out of 45 teams.
The women of Bucks Cross Country followed the men's race with a total 290 competitors. The Bucks were unable to compete as a team due to only having 4 runners. The race was led by Iowa Western's Faith Chepengat with a time of 16:49 in the 5k race. Leading the way for the Bucks was sophomore Miriam Mendez with at time of 22:22 to finish 169th. Shannan Gardner finished 206th with a time of 23:09. Rounding out of the Bucks finishers was Marlenne Mendez (23:53; 232nd) and Faith Hill (24:21; 248th).
Full race results can be found at https://racejackrabbit.com/.
The end of the season can only mean one thing: having to say goodbye. Coach Samantha Shores is having to say goodbye to 5 sophomores that laid the foundation for Bucks Cross Country. We will miss Faith Hill, Marlenne Mendez, Miriam Mendez, Cross Hughes, and Michael Tenorio. Thank you to each of you for everything you've done and accomplished in your careers as Bucks. You will be missed!
Next season, the Bucks will be switching gears and dropping down a division and running in the NJCAA Division II, as will the rest of Region II. One thing is for sure, Region II competition will continue to grow, and the Bucks will have to work hard to defend their Men's Regional Championship.