Courtesy: UTEP

Miner Cross Country team headed to 1st National Meet

The UTEP men’s and women’s cross country teams will head to South Bend, Ind., this week for the 60th annual Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational on Friday. The women will be running a 5K race while the men will run an 8K.

Both teams will be running in the Blue Division Race, which is considered the elite race at the event with a limited field size.

The women’s race will begin on Friday at 12 p.m. (MT) and the men’s race will follow at 12:45 p.m.

The men’s team, who is receiving votes in the national poll, will look to have a solid showing and earn the respect of fellow voters around the country. Six teams ranked inside the top 30 will be in the field: #17 New Mexico, #18 Arizona State, #23 Southern Utah, #26 Colorado State, #27 North Carolina State and #28 Eastern Kentucky.

Anthony Rotich and Cosmas Boit are the only members of the men’s team who have competed at this event. Rotich (24:18.6/8K) claimed gold and Boit (24:40.0/8K) notched a 10th-place finish in a field of 209 runners at the 2013 Notre Dame Invitational.

Evans Kiprono, Daniel Cheruiyot, Antony Kosgei and Jonah Koech will be attending their first Notred Dame Invitational.

On the women’s side, Truphena Sum is the lone Miner to have run in this race. In 2013, she clocked a 5K time of 20:45.9.

Lilian Koech, who has two first-place finishes in three races this year, is no stranger to national competition. Earlier this spring, Koech ran at the track and field NCAA Regionals in the 5K. She will look to guide fellow underclassmen standouts Joan Jepkirui and Gladys Jerotich along.

Lilliana Valdespino and Yara Cortez-Alaniz will round out the field for the women.

National competition in the women’s field will feature #1 New Mexico, #14 North Carolina State, #20 Notre Dame and #22 Vanderbilt.

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