Hill College to Compete in First NJCAA Cross Country Championship

  Jessyca Brown
  Tuesday, November 8, 2022 9:22 AM

Hillsboro, TX

The Hill College Men’s Cross Country team enters its first-ever national competition on Saturday, when it competes in the NJCAA Championships in Tallahassee, Florida.

The seven Hill College runners will be in a field of 227 runners from 39 different schools for the eight-kilometre race at Apalachee Regional Park, which hosted the 2021 NCAA Division I Championships and is site of the 2025 World Cross Country Championships.

“It will be a very exciting competition and an opportunity for several of our runners to compete on the national stage for the first time,” Hill College Head Coach Greg Lautenslager said. “We’ve worked very hard to get to this point in a very short time.”

Hill College only started the cross country program 14 months ago. It went from last place in the NTJCAC and NJCAA Region V meet its first year to first place in the conference and third in the region at the meet held in Hobbs, NM on October 28.

Three of the Hill College runners are no strangers to national competition. Jared Lautenslager, who captured the school’s first-ever victory with a win at the Concordia Classic on Sept. 23, won two New Zealand track titles and a New Zealand cross country bronze medal. Shea Johnson and Cris Santana competed in the NJCAA Championships last year while at Ranger College.

Freshman Lyndon Orr, who has been the team’s third man all season, will make his national debut – as will teammates Adrian Moreno, Jesse Martinez, and Joennial Sanchez.

Coach Lautenslager has an ambitious goal for his team. “We are competing for a top 10 finish,” he said. “We are in peak form, and the goal is achievable if everyone runs up to their capability.”