The Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) cross country team opened the 2018 season in the Iowa Community College Athletic Association (ICCAC) Time Trial at Bettendorf and came away with a fifth-place finish.
Iowa Central Community College (ICCC) won the team championship with 31 points and DMACC scored 132 points in finishing fifth. ICCC's Abeba Sullivan took the individual championship with a time of 19 minutes, 35 seconds on the 5K (3.1-mile) course.
Freshman Elizabeth Belling of Grimes led DMACC with a 15th-place finish in 24:11. Freshman Kianna Lechtenberg of Centerville placed 25th in 28:08 and freshman Sabrina Ure of Panora finished 28th in 30:35.
"It was a very hot meet, but I think we did very well for our first meet ," DMACC cross country coach Ray Quiroz said.
Quiroz said that because he has such a young team, his goal is to see the girls improve each week.
"I don't want us to be complacent, but to go out each week and try to set a new PR (personal record)," Quiroz said, adding that because the team consists of just five runners, it can't afford injuries.
"Right now we are good, but we have five girls and five is what are needed to score (in meets)," Quiroz said. "I think we have a lot of room for improvement. The (ICCAC Time Trial) wasn't close to where I think we can end up."
The DMACC cross country team will compete in the Bill Buxton Invitational Aug. 31 at Indianola.