By Brodee Gillam
The LCC men's cross country team matched its NJCAA National Championship eighth place- finish from a season ago. The Stars competed in the national event at the Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge, Iowa, on Saturday, Nov. 11.
In sophomore Blake Watson's last race at LCC, he finished 16th overall with his best time of the season, 25:40. He increasingly got better throughout the 8K race.
After the first mile of the race Watson was in 67th place, in the next two miles he climbed up to 24th and incrementally got up to 16th in the last two miles of the race.
Watson was delighted for his team and said it was great to be a part of this team.
"I feel like both of our teams were mature and easy going, which makes for a fun season," Watson said. "Both teams were also pretty consistent throughout the season, performance-wise. I'm proud of the way all of us competed this season.
"We didn't get the end results we wanted at nationals, but both (teams) ran very well, so there is little to be upset with."
LCC Head Coach Jim Robinson saw most of his harriers run their fastest race of the year.
"There's no question that Blake had an outstanding race to finish 16th in a national championship race," Robinson said. "(Sophomore) Shawn (Bell), it's no question competitively that was his best race."
Robinson said the team did what he wanted it to do, and he cannot be mad about the finish.
"In terms of our strategy, they executed what we wanted them to do in the race as well as I've ever seen a team execute," Robinson said. "So I can't be in anyway disappointed, because we can't control how good the other teams were."