By Cole Deutschendorf
For the first time since 2018, the Hutchinson Community College softball team finds itself ranked nationally.
The team is off to a 22-4 start, which includes a current win streak of 10, and are now ranked 19th in NJCAA Division I.
The Blue Dragons pushed their win streak to 10 with a dominating doubleheader sweep over Pratt Community College on Saturday.
The Blue Dragons gave up zero runs on the day, winning game one 8-0 and winning game two 9-0, as they moved to 13-1 in the Jayhawk Conference.
The 10 consecutive wins ties for the sixth-longest winning streak in program history.
Baseball – After struggling in the beginning of the year, the baseball team is back on track, winning five in a row and seven out of its last eight.
HutchCC hammered the Sterling College junior varsity on Monday, beating the Warriors 14-0 in the first game and 15-2 in the second game.
In the second game, the Blue Dragon bats were lively, smashing four home runs in five innings, which included a first-inning grand slam that helped HutchCC hold a 7-0 lead after the first.
Jon Jenkins, P.J. Loucks, Ryan Henderson, and Cade Baker all mashed home runs, which set a season single-game high.
Golf – The HutchCC golf team didn’t finish first in a league-designated meet for the first time since 2018. However, they still finished second, only three strokes behind Dodge City.
The Blue Dragons had four players finish inside the top 12, including Ben Partridge finishing first and Blake Saffel finishing at seventh. Harry Crockett and Addison Alonzo tied for 12th.
The team improved by 12 strokes from 307 in the morning session to 295 in the afternoon, but Dodge City’s consistency proved too much, as the Conquistadors had a combined score of 599.
Women’s track and field – Louise Cocking broke another record en route to the Blue Dragons placing second at Southwestern College’s Jinx Invitational.
Cocking, who has broken three records since January, added another to her list, placing second in the 1,500 meters with a time of 4 minutes, :51.28 seconds, which breaks a record set by Amy Matthews in 2004.
HutchCC lost by only half a point to York College, 81-80.5 in the team standings.
Kiana Brown put together an amazing performance, placing first in the pole vault and qualifying for nationals. It was a 10-feet, 8-inch vault that set a career high and put her at fifth in Blue Dragon women’s track and field history.
Men’s Track – The HutchCC men’s track team put on a clinic at the Southwestern College Jinx Invitational, placing first by a whopping 68.5 points.
The Blue Dragons were dominant all meet long, headed by sophomore Antonio Cooper. Cooper placed in four events – first in the shot put, third in the discus, fourth in the javelin, and fifth in the hammer throw, qualifying for the NJCAA Outdoor National Championships.
Several other Blue Dragons had strong days as well, including Sharim Hamilton, who finished second in the 400 hurdles, and Clyedterrious Thompson, who placed first in the 200.
Aaron Gessinger placed second in the 3,000 steeplechase, and Andrew Holt finished second in the 1,500 meters and the 5,000 meters.