he Darton State College Cross
Country program continued its
dynasty and swept the NJCAA
Region 17 Championship for the fifth
consecutive year in October. That’s
ten conference titles in five years
– not bad for an operation whose
success relies on the sweat and hard
work of Darton State Cavaliers.
Ten Darton student-athletes
earned All-Region honors,
sophomore Elena Oslund became
the Region 17 women’s champion,
and Darton head cross country
coach Bruce Skiles continued his
reign as the men’s and women’s
cross country coach of the year.
Oslund led the Lady Cavaliers to
a perfect score. Available records
indicate this may be the first time a
team has scored a flawless 15 points
to win a conference title in GCAA
history. Oslund finished the women’s
5K in a blazing 19:51.
Sophomore Alexis Skiles finished
second (20:50), followed by Amber
Braswell (3rd, 21:31), Jaishell
Thomas (4th, 21:40) and Victoria
Parra (7th, 21:48).
Then the top five Cavaliers took
3rd through 7th to score 25 points
and secure another conference title.
Victor Chicas led the pack and
finished in 26:45. Austin Steward
finished 4th (26:54), David Thornton
5th (27:20), Ean Crawford 6th
(27:50) and Jelani Omari 7th
“We want to build a dynasty,”
said Skiles, who has won every
conference championship since
taking over the program in 2010.
“I’m pleased. There were a couple
who didn’t run well, but it’s hard
to get all of them to run well in one
race.” “That’s why you need depth,”
he continued. “That’s what we got.
That’s what wins.”