Red Devil Men Cruise to 3rd Straight Region 6 title and 6th Straight Jayhawk East Title
by TIMOTHY EVERSON The Iola Register | October 31, 2017
Roughly three-fifths of the way into the NJCAA Region VI men’s cross country meet on Monday, Red Devils head coach Vince DeGrado called off the dogs. “The plan was to stack Cloud & Colby’s #3 through the 1st big hill and once we cleared that we would ‘restart’ and move up some more and try and break away.” By the time they cleared the 1st hill and ran back into the course the Allen Men’s team had clinched their third straight Region VI title and their sixth straight conference title with almost two miles left in the race.
“In 2015 I knew we had the better team but were challenged throughout and in 2016 we had to execute a great race place to pull off the upset. However, in 2017 we knew going in that we were going to win, we just had too much depth and we had guys who had been there before to help lead the way,” DeGrado said. “And I told them that if we have it won, I’m going to have you guys shut it down and maintain. Try not to let too many people pass you but don’t go to the well and just maintain because we race again in 12 days. The hardest part was tracking them down, so I could tell them to relax we have it won.”
The fifth-ranked Red Devil men may not have lit up individual results with only two runners placing in the top 10 but the Allen Harriers and DeGrado didn’t care. The national meet is 12 days away and that’s what they’re really running for. “We didn’t blow the doors off with a team average, the course and weather were to blame for that.” “But at the end of the day a win is a win.” DeGrado said.
“That was our worst conference championship total we’ve had since I’ve been here,” DeGrado said. “When we shut it down, Highland and Cowley kept pressing but the whole idea was to do enough to win.” “Not to take any credit away from those programs, they have some coaches who have really developed and brought their teams along nicely. Our conference is only getting better.
Paul Becker finished third and earned a Jayhawk East Conference title with a time of 26:44.6 while Berry King finished 10th with a time of 27:11.7. I was very proud of Paul, he isn’t exactly a fan of hilly courses, so I wasn’t sure how he would do but he stayed calm the entire time and worked his way through nicely.
Following right behind Wade King were Yoel Yoel (27:15.2) who finished 11th, Joshua Clethen (27:15.4) who finished 12th and Anthony Glasgow (27:17.5) who finished 13th.
“We’ve yet to display what we can really do,” DeGrado said. “We’ve shown glimpses of it and now it’s just doing it and cutting loose. I know we’re probably going to drop in the rankings even after we won our 3rd straight Region 6 title, but that is fine, I could care less about how and where we’re ranked. It’s the final standings that really matter to me the most.”
Region 6 Final Standings Jayhawk East Final Standings
1st Allen – 50 1st Allen – 35
2nd Colby – 91 2nd Cowley – 56
3rd Cowley – 101 3rd Johnson County – 66
4th Cloud – 115 4th Highland – 75
5th Johnson County – 128
6th Hutchinson – 137 All-Jayhawk East Team
7th Butler – 144 Paul Becker – Conference Champion
8th Highland – 189 Wade King – 7th place
9th Dodge City – 260
10th Hesston – 320
11th Garden City – 322
12th Pratt – 323
13th Barton – 383
All-Region 6 Team
Paul Becker – 4th place
Wade King – 10th place
Yoel Yoel – 11th place
Josh Clethen – 12th place
Anthony Glasgow – 13th place