Freshman Grace Stewart of Perry finished fifth in the individual competition and sophomore Elizabeth Belling of Grimes placed sixth in leading the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) cross country team to a third-place finish in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XI Time Trial August 23 at Ottumwa.
Stewart toured the 5K (3.1-mile) course in 21 minutes, 15 seconds and Belling cross the finish line in 21:21 as the Bears scored 65 in the meet.
Iowa Western Community College (IWCC) took the team championship with 38 points and Iowa Central Community College (ICCC) finished second with 40 points.
DMACC freshmen Cindy Liera of LeGrand, Ashley Weringa of Algona and Karima Kuku of Des Moines rounded out the Bears' performance with 14th-, 19th- and 21st-place finishes respectively. Liera finished in 24:04, Weringa in 26:13 and Kuku in 26:58. DMACC sophomore Sabrina Ure of Panora also ran in the meet, finishing 25th in 28:23.
DMACC women's cross country coach Jordan Andrews said the meet was definitely a good start for his young team.
"This was definitely a big improvement over where the team started last year so we're headed in the right direction," Andrews said. "It's a very competitive conference we're in but we're showing can run with the (teams in the top half of the conference)."
Andrews said Stewart and Belling ran impressively in their season debuts, adding that he's looking for big things from them this fall.
"We definitely have to keep improving." Andrews said. "Every other team in the conference will be improving and we have to do that if we want to finish that high or higher at the end of the season in the regional meet."
The DMACC women's cross country team will run in the Viking Invitational Sept. 13 at Des Moines.