Women's Cross Country

El Paso claims 2nd straight Half-Marathon title

El Paso claims 2nd straight Half-Marathon title

Thanks to three top five finishers, El Paso (Texas) claimed its second consecutive NJCAA Women's Half Marathon Championship Saturday at Lake Shawnee outside of Topeka, Kan. The Tejanas are the fifth program in NJCAA history to win back-to-back championships in women's half marathon.
Paced by Andrea Amaro, who finished first overall in at time of 1 hour, 25 minutes and 39 seconds, El Paso set an NJCAA record with just eight team points as a result of Kayla Pallares (1:26:47.9) coming in third overall and Mercy Rotich following in fourth place (1:27:11.1). The previous record of nine team points was set by Butler (Kan.) in 2004.

Amaro also put her name in the NJCAA record books, becoming the fourth female to repeat as the women's half marathon champion. She joins Darroneshia Lott (South Plains - 2011, '12), Florence Ngetich (El Paso - 2009, '10) and Diane Nukuri (Butler - 2004, '05).

El Paso's team and individual success on Saturday had additional historic significance for women's half marathon:
  - Tied NJCAA mark with three individual champions in program history
  - Fifth team to win back-to-back team titles
  - Fifth team to win both the individual and team championship
  - Three total team titles (2014, '13, '07) ranks second among NJCAA members

Finishing second behind Amaro was Iowa Central's Kim Carter (1:26:00.8). Leah Deering of Gillette (Wyo.) rounded out the top five of the individual standings with a time of 1 hour, 27 minutes and 48 seconds.

South Plains (Texas) was a distant second in the final team standings with 23 points followed by Iowa Central with 27. Gillette (Wyo.) finished fourth with 31 points and Iowa Western rounded out the top five with a score of 55.