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After Historic Season, Sandburg XC Teams Back on the Course

GALESBURG — Coming off the most successful season in program history, the Carl Sandburg College men’s and women’s cross country teams are set to return to the course this weekend.


After winning its first Region IV title and led by a pair of All-Americans, Sandburg’s men’s team finished sixth at the NJCAA Division II Championship for its best showing ever. The women’s team also had a program-best finish at nationals, placing 22nd.

The Chargers open their 2022 campaign by facing Sauk Valley in a dual meet Saturday in Dixon. The women’s race begins at 10:30 a.m., followed by the men’s race at 11:15 a.m. Sandburg has six meets on its schedule before the Region IV Championships on Oct. 29 in Racine, Wis.

NOTABLE RETURNERS

Men

  • Calton Kibet (Kericho, Kenya/Poiywek Secondary), sophomore

  • Finished fourth at nationals as freshman, becoming first First-Team All-American in Chargers cross country history.

  • Won Region IV championship with school-record 8-kilometer time of 24:51.

  • Set 8K school record on pair of occasions.

  • NJCAA Division II Men’s Runner of the Week for Sept. 8, 2021.

  • Named 2021-22 Sandburg Men’s Athlete of the Year.

  • Emmanuel Kiprop (Kericho, Kenya/Kericho TEA Boys’ Secondary), sophomore

  • Finished 16th at nationals as freshman, earning Honorable Mention All-America honors.

  • Runner-up to Kibet at Region IV Championships with time of 25:07.

Women

  • Babra Viola Jepkirui (Kapsawor, Kenya/St. Teresa Girls’ Secondary), sophomore

  • Led Chargers with 59th-place finish at nationals in 5K time of 20:55.6.

  • Placed third in Region IV Championships.

  • Mary Njuguna (Turbo, Kenya/Turbo Girls Secondary), sophomore

  • Placed 87th at nationals in time of 21:38.4.

  • Finished fifth at Region IV Championships.

NEWCOMERS TO WATCH

Men

  • Raymundo Francisco (Monmouth, Ill./Monmouth-Roseville), freshman

Women

  • Dayanna Ortiz (Monmouth, Ill./Monmouth-Roseville), freshman

  • Lily Sandoval (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg), freshman

WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR YOUR TEAM THIS SEASON?

Chargers coach Rodney Blue: “Calton and Emmanuel can push this team to the next level, and Babra and Mary will keep the women’s team in contention. Both teams can challenge their finishes from last season. It’s going to be fun to watch!”

MEETS TO WATCH

  • WIU Early Bird, Sept. 2 at Spring Lake Park in Macomb

  • Heartland Invitational, Sept. 30 at Maxwell Park in Normal

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