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Photo: UTEP Athletics

Men’s Cross Country Team captures conference title

Bowling Green, Ky.- The UTEP men’s cross country team tallied a total of 19 points to runaway with a first-place victory at the 2015 Conference USA Championships at the Spero Keraikes Park.

This is the team’s fifth title in 11 years in C-USA and first since the 2009 season.

“This was our best win at conference since 2007 when we scored 15 points,” the 2015 Conference USA Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year, Paul Ereng said. “I’m very proud of what our guys accomplished and we racked up plenty of awards.”

The men’s team placed five runners on the Conference USA First Team (top seven finishers) in a stellar performance. Anthony Rotich captured his fourth-straight individual title at the conference meet and has now collected a whopping 19 individual C-USA titles during his four-year career.

On a course that has difficult elevation changes, Rotich clocked an 8K time of 24:44.1 to secure gold; the native Kenyan was also named the Senior of the Meet for his brilliant performance.

Rotich was closely followed by Freshman of the Meet, Jonah Koech, who finished second with a mark of 24:44.4. Less than a second behind the first duo, Cosmas Boit earned his third-straight first team honor with a time of 24:45.0 to place third.

Antony Kosgei (24:53.1/6th place) and Daniel Cheruiyot (24:54.0/7th place) earned First Team all-conference honors. Evans Kiprono rounded out the starting six for UTEP with a career-best finish of 30th place (26:02.1) at the conference meet.

The women’s team ran to a sixth-place showing (172 points) on the heels of an outstanding performance by Joan Jepkirui. The sophomore placed fifth clocking a 5K time of 17:50.2 to earn First Team All-Conference honors for the second straight year.

Lilian Koech was named the Freshman of the Meet and to Second Team All-Conference for her 11th-place finish (18:05.6); the Miners have captured this award the last two years. Fellow freshman Gladys Jerotich was named to the all conference third team for her 18th-place showing with a time of 18:24.4.

Truphena Sum (19:45.0/62nd place), Lilliana Valdespino (21:53.0/90th place) and Yara Cortez-Alaniz (23:23.6/94th place) rounded out the field for the women’s team.

Author: UTEP Athletics

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