Howard County Times
Howard County Sports

HCC women's cross country team makes history at NJCAA National DIII championships

The Howard Community College women's cross country team made history Nov. 12 at the NJCAA National DIII championships, placing third overall – it's best finish ever as a program.

Abbey Starks led the Dragons at Finger Lakes Community College, finishing third with a time of 20:25, earning first-team, All-American honors in the process. Amani Jones followed in 10th place, running in 21 minutes, 4 seconds and also earned second-team, All-American recognition.


Brenda Rosas (16th place, 21:42), Maggie Niland (35th place, 22:47), Kirsten Murrill (81st place, 25:48) and Brittany Nixon (101st place, 28:04) rounded out HCC's top-six runners.

"This was a strong team effort today," said Dragons coach Steve Musselman. "We talked about confidence, running strong and doing the best they can. If there was a moment to be courageous, than take advantage of that moment."


In the men's race there was a setback at the three-mile mark, as the lead pack, which included top HCC runner Corey Young – a returning All-American, was sent off course by a race marshal.

"One goes in to a race thinking if someone has a bad race we still may have a chance. In a situation like this two was too much to overcome," Musselman said. "Perhaps ten athletes lost a chance on All-American statuses."

Abraham Samuel ultimately was the top finisher for the Dragons, coming in 17th with a time of 30:23. He was closely followed by Ryan Clocker (18th place, 30:27), Scott Camp (31st place, 31:04), Garrett Birsa (66th place, 32:42), Andrew Kastner (84th place, 34:00) and Nick Miguelino (117th place, 36:19).

Despite the frustrating day, Young was later named USTFCCCA East Region Runner of the Year for his performance this past season.