By Steve Holt, Sports Writer
ACU swept the men’s and women’s team titles at its own meet Friday, also claiming the top two individual titles at the ACU Classic. Bernard Manirakiza won his fourth straight Classic title, covering the four-mile course in 20:13.31. Adeh Mwamba won her second-straight individual title, running the three-mile course in 17:56.34 to break the course record by more than 20 seconds.
“A win is always nice,” said head coach Jon Murray. “Both Bernard and Adeh are in exceptional shape.”
Mwamba’s victory by more than a minute impressed her coach.
First-year Wildcats Olha Kryv’yak and Trina Cox were second and third, respectively. Kryv’yak seems to have made a complete recovery from a heat-induced stroke she suffered last August, covering the course in 18:51.73. Cox, a transfer from Santa Rosa Community College in California, ran the course in 19:18.95 in her first action as a Wildcat.
After Manirakiza, junior Martin O’Kello was second for the ACU men in 20:30.03; junior college transfer Lucky Hadebe placed third in 20:46.72; and freshman Vincent Morogah was fourth in 21:15.77. Angelo State was second in the team standings, followed by Wayland Baptist in third and Northwood in fourth.
This year’s recent additions to the women’s team, along with several talented recruits and transfers on the men’s team, seem to be a perfect fit to the program, Murray said.
“I think we were just really blessed in our recruiting to get these athletes because they all are ones who will continue the tradition of excellence for ACU cross country and track and field,” Murray said.
Murray said he will take just the women’s team to Joplin, Mo., on Saturday for the Missouri Southern Stampede, so the men’s team “will not have to race Arkansas three times in one season.” The meet will be a preview of the NCAA Division II South Central Regional on Nov. 6, which will take place on the Joplin course.