Note: Join us over the next five weeks as we look back at the top moments of the 2016-2017 seasons. New features will be released each Monday and Thursday as we count down top moment through July and into August.
Johnson & Wales University had their best season in program history in 2016 as the Wildcats finished second in both the men's and women's races at the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Championships in November.
The event, hosted by JWU at Buffalo Ranch Cross Country Course in Boulder, saw eight teams on the women's side and six on the men's make their way to the Mile High City for the 2016 Championships.
In the women's 5k event, Samantha Barela (Colorado Springs, Colo.) finished in ninth place with a time of 19:34 followed by Jessie Faron (Auburn, Ind.) in 11th at 19:53. The 5k course saw Olivia Redmann (Englewood, Fla.) come in 17th at 21:56. Ashley Jackson (Denver, Colo.) crossed the finish line in 31st at 25:13 and Brandi Williams-Beck (San Antonio, Texas) finished in 34th at 25:38.
The 'Cats team score of 94 points put them in second place among the postseason eligible teams, earning Johnson & Wales University's first ever trophy in a women's sport.
In the men's 8k event, Steven Juarez (Gering, Neb.) was the first Wildcat across the finish line in 8th place with a time of 28:56 on the grueling 8K course. Alberto Rodriguez (San Jacinto, Calif.) finished in 12th place with a time of 29:41 followed by Bryce Moore (Loma, Colo.) in 13th at 29:50. Billy Castrovince (North Port, Fla.) had a time of 31:34 for 23rd place just ahead of Francisco Padilla (Aurora, Colo.) in 25th at 32:14.
Alan Almeida (Aurora, Colo.) ran the race with a time of 36:00 for 35th place and Corwin Scherer (Burbank, Calif.) was in 37th place at 38:45.
Based on their performances at the A.I.I. Championships, Barela, Faron, Redmann, Juarez, and Rodriguez qualified for the NAIA National Championships in Elsah, Illinois. The five competitors are the most the Johnson & Wales has ever sent to the NAIA National Championships.
Top Moments of 2016-2017
#1 - August 3
#2 - July 31 - Women's and Men's Cross Country finish second
#3 - July 27 - Men's Soccer are runners-up at A.I.I. Championships
#4 - July 24 - McCorra Ford named All-America Honorable Mention
#5 - July 20 - Lucas Prolow and Mitchel Erickson named Academic All-Americans
#6 - July 17 - Kelley McLain records 1,000th career kill
#7 - July 13 - Andrew Bonner becomes program's leading scorer
#8 - July 10 - Kyra Gangemi nets sock trick and becomes program goals leader
#9 - July 6 - Women's Soccer makes postseason history
#10 - July 3 - Albert Rodriguez qualifies for NAIA Indoor Nationals