The last two years have yielded plenty of success for the Moraine Valley Community College men’s cross country team. They’re aiming to continue that trend with a third conference championship and more in 2022.

Within the last two years, the Cyclones have earned back-to-back Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference championships, two Skyway Runners of the Year and the men’s program’s first All-American. Last season, they also had the most All-Region and All-Conference runners in the college’s history. The strength of the returners and incoming speedsters look like they can continue the winning streak.

Last year’s All-American and Skyway Runner of the Year, Brandon Armendarez (Reavis), is back along with All-Region and All-Conference runners Gavin Hampton (Oak Lawn) and Thomas Diaz (Argo), as well as Ryan O’Connor (Lincoln-Way East) and Scott Beveridge (Argo). All of them bring the experience of being on last year’s winning team.

The newcomers include Jack Kajmowicz (Lockport), the fastest incoming cross country freshman and state qualifier; Antonio Ornelas (Argo), the fastest track runner coming in this season; Efrain Alvarez (Oak Lawn), who’s put in a lot of work over the summer to prepare; and David Olmos (Richards), a late addition to the team who should make a big impact thanks to his state qualifying in high school and brief running experience at Loras College.

In practice, everything the team does so far is geared toward the NJCAA Region IV race because of the hilly course. The coaches are incorporating as many hills as possible, which they haven’t done in six years, explained Head Coach Dimitri Dimizas, entering his seventh season at the helm. They’re also implementing speed development once a week with the hope of increasing speed and decreasing injuries.

“The guys are working hard. Ideally, we want to win conference. That’s the primary goal, but we also want to qualify for nationals again,” Dimizas said. “We want as many runners to become All-Conference and All-Region as well. I’m fortunate that every year we have a good group that can win.”

The Cyclones have a new assistant coach in alumnus David Alvarez, who ran for Moraine Valley in 2017 and 2018 before seeing a successful career at Saint Xavier University. “He was one of the fastest guys Moraine Valley ever had and then had two successful years at Saint Xavier. He wanted to give back to the program, and we’re happy to have his enthusiasm and experience,” Dimizas said.

The Cyclones open the season on Sept. 2 at the Earlybird Invitational at Elmhurst College.

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For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or