Three area runners compete at NJCAA Region XI meet

Three collegiate athletes who had cross country illustrious careers in the area competed at the NJCAA Region XI cross country meet Sunday at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course.

Ryann Portch, a freshman at Hawkeye Community College, Waterloo, was second in the Division II Women’s 5K event with a time of 19:30.45. Her time was fifth overall when Division I and II times are considered. Portch is a 2020 AHSTW graduate who placed eighth in the 2019 Iowa Class 1A state girls’ meet and led the Lady Vikes to a third-place team finish.

Two Atlantic graduates also competed. Jalen Petersen, a sophomore at North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City, was fifth in the Division II men’s 8K race with a time of 27:14.38. Bradley Dennis, a freshman at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, was 32nd with a time of 29:16.52 in the Division I 8K race.

Petersen graduated in 2019 and Dennis in 2020, and both were key members of state-bound Atlantic cross country teams. Both also earned individual state meet berths, Dennis in 2016 and Petersen in 2017.

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