Kishwaukee College cross country student-athlete Jonathan “Dewey” Landis, of Sterling, qualified for the 2019 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Men’s Cross Country Championship on November 9 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Landis qualified for “All Region” after running a lifetime best of 28:40 and placing tenth in the NJCAA Region IV Cross Country meet on October 26 at Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg. Landis’ qualification makes this the second consecutive year a Kish cross country runner qualified for nationals.
“I’m so excited to get this opportunity to run in nationals. It is a good feeling to know that the hard work I put in over the season has paid off,” stated Landis, who began his running career in sixth grade because he wanted to “be better than [his] two older brothers.”
Landis trains five days a week with his teammates and completes one long run over the weekend. A talented runner while at Sterling High School, Landis suffered a collapsed lung after high school and took two years off before running for Kish. Now a sophomore at the College, he knew this was his last year of eligibility to run and decided to join the men’s cross country team. When the season began in August, he had a lot of work ahead of him. “He trained hard and did everything he could to improve,” commented head coach Brady Hunt.
Landis is working towards a certificate in diesel power technology with a tentative graduation date of Spring 2020. “Kish has an outstanding diesel program compared to other schools,” Landis commented. “I also have a family member who came to Kish who was very happy with his education, so that’s why I came to Kish.”
“I'm really proud of the way he competed on that slow, nasty day in October. He beat his season’s best time by 40 seconds,” remarked Hunt. “I'm optimistic about Dewey’s next race. I think finishing in the top 100 is a reasonable goal. However, Albuquerque sits at 5000 feet of elevation, so any team that is not coming from altitude will have to adjust quickly.”
Cross country began in 2018 at the College. Landis’ qualification is the second consecutive year for Kish cross country. Tania Barragan, of DeKalb, qualified for nationals last year. Currently, 85 percent of the men’s cross country team come from local high schools.
For more information on cross country at Kish, contact head cross country coach Brady Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-825-9655.
Photo: Kishwaukee College cross country student-athlete Jonathan “Dewey” Landis, of Sterling, qualifies for the NJCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country Championship on November 9 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Pictured: Jonathan Landis.