FORT DODGE – NIACC sophomore Imad Amenzou earned honorable mention all-American honors with his 14th place finish at the NJCAA Division I cross country meet on Saturday at Lakeside Golf Course.
Amenzou covered the 8-kilometer course in 25 minutes, 47 seconds and helped lead the Trojans to a 12th place finish with 379 points. The Trojans entered the national meet ranked 19th in the final poll.
It is the 8th straight season that the NIACC men have placed in the top 15 at the national meet.
NIACC, Mesa Community College and Johnson County CC all placed seven places higher than their final national ranking. Mesa CC was ranked 20th and placed 13th and Johnson County was ranked 22nd and placed 15th.
“The first mile was pretty fast, but I was feeling good,” said Amenzou, who placed 57th at the 2014 national meet. “The goal was to get in the top 15.
“I knew where I was at. I was in the top 17 in the first three miles and then I moved up. After the 6K, I moved into the top 15.”
Amenzou is the second NIACC male runner to earn all-American honors. NIACC’s Trent Smith placed 11th at the 2011 national meet to earn honorable mention all-American honors.
Iowa Central won the national championship with 56 points and Central Arizona was second with 86 points. Iowa Western was 10th with 330 points.
Central Arizona College’s Gilbert Kigen was the men’s individual champion in 23:55.
NIACC sophomore Jacob Day placed 55th in a personal-best time of 27:03 and sophomore Tyler Randall was 79th in 27:31.
Also for the Trojans, freshman Nick Frenz placed 111th in a personal-best time of 28:09, freshman Jose Aguilera was 146th in a personal-best 28:50, sophomore John Enright was 198th in 29:39 and freshman Aaron Hardcastle was 246th in a personal best 30:50.
The NIACC women placed 30th at Saturday’s national meet with 717 points. Freshman Jessica Blumberg led the Lady Trojans with a 63rd place finish in 20:14.
NIACC sophomore Alyssa Cowan was 132nd in 21:11, freshman Emerson Sears was 178th in 21:50, sophomore Lattie Crozier was 208th in 22:11, freshman Jordan Lane was 227th in 22:36, freshman Kendra Schmidt was 236th in 22:53 and sophomore Taylor Glawe was 273rd in 24:24.