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Howard Community College cross country steals show at Region XX meet

The Howard Community College men's cross country team poses together after winning the Region XX title on Oct. 25
The Howard Community College men's cross country team poses together after winning the Region XX title on Oct. 25 (Photo submitted by Steve Musselman)

The Howard Community College cross country teams traveled to Anne Arundel Community College last weekend to compete in the Region XX/Maryland JUCO Championships and it was a successful trip for both Dragon squads.

The men won the region and were second in the JUCO competition, while the women placed second in the region and third in the JUCO.

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Gary Smolyak led the Dragons mens team with a first place finish overall with a time of 27:37 on the five-mile course. He was followed by Jake Staley (5th in 28:47), Brooks Ward (10th in 29:53), Connor Livingston (14th in 30:37), Brady Dumonchelle (16th in 31:05), Dominic Mandelle (18th in 31:37), Jake Stolzenbach (20th in 31:35) and Gulraize Khan (24th in 32:12).

Smolyak and Staley each earned all-JUCO and all-Region honors, while Ward earned all-Region honors. Coach Stephen Musselman was named mens DIII Coach of the Year.

For the girls, Caroline Haden was the top finisher in fourth overall with a time of 21:48. She was the top DIII finisher in the race. Behind her, Mackenzie Snyder was 12th in 23:42, Gabrielle Petty was 20th in 25:11, Hannah Lefors was 22nd in 25:24 and Mary Hurd was 36th in 29:15.

Haden was named all-Region and All-MD JUCO, while Snyder took home all-Region honors.

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The teams will now prepare for the NJCAA National D-III Championships, hosted by the Community College of Finger Lakes in New York on Nov. 8. Smolyak is the defending individual champion.

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