JUCO cross-country: Ford, Miller shine for IHCC at nationals

Nov. 14—HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The Indian Hills men's cross-country team capped its record-breaking season with a top-10 finish at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I men's cross-country championship on Saturday.

Behind a historic performance from freshman Brandon Ford, the Warriors placed 10th overall for the program's second-highest finish in school history.

Along with the men's performance, freshman Brooke Miller put together a personal record-breaking performance of her own to highlight the women's program at the national championship.

"I got really hard out and almost went out a little too strong," Miller said. "At a mile-and-a-half, I started to fall apart."

Ford, a three-time record-setter at Indian Hills this season, put together the highest individual performance in school history at a national championship as the freshman placed 14th overall to earn All-American honors. The freshman standout crossed the finish line in 24:20.8 to become the new highest finisher in program history.

"I thought we left everything out there," stated IHCC head coach Brent Ewing. "As a season as a whole, it was a big jump for us. To finish in tenth, it's a step in the right direction. We had some very good individual performances. Obviously Brandon, our highest finisher in program history to earn All-American status."

Miller put together a historic performance in Huntsville for the Warriors, posting the fastest time at a national meet since former All-American Lauren Jones in 2007. The freshman's time of 19:52.6 was good enough for 64th overall, the highest finish for an individual female since 2020. Miller and Jones are the only two individuals to break the 20-minute plateau at a national championship event.

"Brooke's goal all year was to break 20 minutes," stated Ewing. "She got out aggressively today with a very fast first mile. She struggled a little bit between mile one and two, but bounced back really hard in the third mile. Really impressed by what she did this year and happy with the progress she had."

Miller, however, wasn't sure she'd be able to break 20 minutes midway through the race.

"At about two miles, I didn't know if I was going to get this because I put all my energy into the first mile," Miller said. "I held on. I completed the goal."

Keveroy Venson put together a strong showing for the Warriors with a 37th place finish and a time of 25:17.6 to score team points for Indian Hills. Brody Lucas was the third individual to cross the line with a time of 26:28.6 followed by Mohammed Al-Yafaee with a time of 26:50.5.

Sophomore Logan Soedt set a new personal-best time with a mark of 26:59.8 while Keelan Aita added a personal best time in his final collegiate performance at Indian Hills with a mark of 27:56.6. Freshman Nik Davis closed out the Warriors' performance with a time of 28:27.1