The UTEP men’s cross country team narrowly missed out on a top-10 team finish at the NCAA Championshipson Saturday. The Miners were led by All Americans Jonah Koech (11th) and Anthony Rotich (15th).
The Miners finished with a tally of 354 points to place 11th and were barely nipped by Georgetown (352 points).
“I want to congratulate our men for finishing 11th in the nation,” head coach Paul Ereng said. “Our aim was to finish top ten here in Louisville, but our men showed a commendable effort.
“I think these young men have had a wonderful season. Posting two runners inside the top 15 is an outstanding accomplishment.”
A storybook career came to an end for four-time national champion Anthony Rotich; the senior ran to a 15th-place showing with a 10K time of 30:06.6 to become only the third Miner in cross country program history to be a four-time cross country All American. He caps his UTEP career with four national titles, 11 All-America honors, 19 individual Conference USA titles and a whopping 63 races won.
“Jonah Koech receives the role of new team leader as Anthony Rotich ends his illustrious career as one of the most decorated UTEP distance runners in program history,” Ereng acknowledged.
Rotich leaves the UTEP program by passing the torch to another very promising athlete. For the second race in a row, freshman Jonah Koech outran Rotich. Koech was the first freshman to cross the finish line (11th place) at the NCAA Championships today with a 10K time of 30:04.4. He becomes the first freshman at UTEP to receive cross country All-America honors since Rotich did so in 2012.
Antony Kosgei turned in a valiant effort to cross the line in 108th place with a readout of 31:01.1. Junior Cosmas Boit (31:03.0) battled his way to a 111th-place showing.
Daniel Cheruiyot, who lost a shoe during the race and elected to put it back on, finished 192nd with a time of 31:54.6 and Evans Kiprono (245th/33:14.3) rounded out the performance for a stellar season for UTEP.
The Miners will return five of six runners for next year’s squad.
Author: UTEP Athletics