Kishwaukee College Cross Country athlete, Tania Barragan of DeKalb, has qualified for the NJCAA Division I National Cross Country meet on November 10 in Garden City, Kansas, hosted by Garden City Community College. She qualified for “All Region” after placing 9th in the NJCAA Region IV Cross Country meet on Saturday, October 27, hosted by the College of Lake County. The Cross Country team at Kish is in its inaugural year and Barragan is the first Cross Country athlete in Kish history to attend nationals.
“I’m just really happy and excited that I get to represent Kish as the first woman to go to nationals because it’s the first season we’ve ever even had a team,” said Barragan. The sophomore is a DeKalb High School graduate and ran for three years on the DHS cross country team. She plans to major in Nutrition.
“We are thrilled to be making the trip to Garden City, Kansas to support Tania,” said Assistant Cross Country Coach, Missy Gillis, “Competing at nationals was a goal she set early in the season.” Gillis noted that both she and Head Cross Country Coach, Richard Collins, were extremely proud of Barragan and thankful for the support the team has received this year. “Kishwaukee College President, Dr. Laurie Borowicz, has been supportive of our inaugural program. We are appreciative and looking forward to season two in the fall of 2019,” Gillis said.
Barragan described her Kish coaches, as incredibly helpful. The proof is in her 6K run times, which she’s cut down by five minutes since her high school running days. Barragan attributed much of her success to training in the off-season. She said Gillis, helped inspire Barragan while she was off season, “When Missy called me in November about this team, it was motivating to make me stay on top of running and in shape for the  season.”
Barragan trains six days a week, taking off Sunday for recovery. She explained that she was recently suffering a back injury so her training was less intense prior to the qualifying meet. “I was hoping for top five, but was happy with top ten,” Barragan said of the regional race. She thinks she will perform better during the national meet, setting a goal of reaching top 40. “I’m going to try, even if I don’t reach it,” she said cheerily.
Competition is tough, though. Barragan said she’s looked at the times from last year and knows there are a few teams to look out for in the upcoming meet. Still, Barragan is confident, disciplined, and excited. “I feel honored and blessed to represent Kish,” she concluded, “I hope this brings positive attention to the team as we expand next year.”
For more information on Cross Country at Kishwaukee College, contact Head Cross Country Coach, Richard Collins at email@example.com or 815-825-9655 or Assistant Cross Country Coach, Missy Gillis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-825-9423.