BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Outstanding Senior recipient Winny Koech finished in second place, clocking a time of 17:03.76 in the 5K, and Freshman of the Meet Titus Cheruiyot registered a close third-place finish (23:58.64) in the 8K at the Conference USA Cross Country Championships Saturday morning.
Overall, the women finished in third place (84 points) behind Southern Miss (74) and champions Middle Tennessee (42).
“Every race [the women] run is an experience. They learn from it and get stronger,” UTEP Head Coach Paul Ereng said. “I’m pleased very much by the women’s performance. I’m really, really pleased because every girl that ran, ran their best of the year. That was incredible. Each one of them they competed very well.”
The men’s squad placed fourth (93 points) as Middle Tennessee claimed the title (31). Charlotte (48) and Rice (89) finished in second and third place, respectively.
Cheruiyot ran a solid race and wasn’t far behind the first and second place winners from MT. He finished only 0:06.7 behind individual champion senior Jacob Choge (23:52.11) and Kigen Chemadi (23:56.35).
Sophomore Rodgers Korir placed sixth (24:06.65), sophomore Boaz Ronoh (24:58.04) finished 19th, junior Cornelius Kapel (25:37.72) and freshman Kayn Quinones (25:40.58) finished 32nd and 33rd, respectively, freshman Kenneth Talavera (25:43.28) placed 36th. Sophomore Michael Sims (27:31.28) and freshman Cory Calvani (27:48.72) rounded out the UTEP men’s field.
Despite only having two runners in the top 10, the future looks bright for the men’s team.
“The men’s team is young,” Ereng said. “We will be strong next year. But we want to compete, trying is not good enough. We respect the other teams, but we want to win next year. I assure you, we’ll be there next year.”
On the women’s side, senior Linda Cheruiyot (17:08.60) finished fourth, junior Carolyne Chepkosgei (17:20.77) placed seventh, sophomore Karoline Daland (17:20.77) registered a 14th-place finish. Freshman Joan Kimaiyo (19:12.79), junior Andrea Lucero (19:31.94) and freshman Jacquilyn Orozco (20:40.97) rounded out the UTEP competitors.
MT’s Eusila Chepkemei (16:55.88) won the women’s individual title, finishing 0:08.8 in front of Koech.
Up next, the Miners will compete at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 15. The NCAA Championships is Nov. 23 in Terra Haute, Indiana.