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Tag Archives: utep cross country team

UTEP’s Rotich named C-USA Male Cross Country Athlete of the Year

Irving, Texas- Anthony Rotich marked one last accomplishment off the list on Monday morning; for the fourth-straight year, Rotich was named the Conference USA Male Cross Country Athlete of the Year. C-USA cross country head coaches around the league nominated Rotich as the unanimous winner.

Rotich won a career low two races during the 2015 cross country season, but that was by design. “This year he has been very selfless,” head coach Paul Ereng said. “He wasn’t as concerned this year about winning individually, but he was more concerned about how the team performed as a whole. He was a tremendous inspiration this year.”

Rotich’s storybook career ends with a whopping 63 races won (track and field and cross country combined), 19 individual conference titles, 11 All-America honors and four national titles.

This fall Rotich led the men’s team up to as high as No. 7 in the USTFCCCA Coaches poll. The Miners dashed to an 11th-place finish at the NCAA Championships (best finish since 2007/10th). Rotich finished 15th individually at the NCAA Championships to earn his fourth-consecutive All-America honor. Rotich is only the third runner in program history to be named a four-time cross country All American.

Rotich led the Miners to victories at five meets during the season. On Oct. 2 at the Notre Dame Invitational, he took gold and helped UTEP knock off five men’s team on their way to capturing the team title.

On Halloween, he secured the all-elusive Conference USA team title. From his freshman to junior year, he was a member of teams that finished second place. On this chilly day in Kentucky, Rotich and his team would not be denied and they captured UTEP’s first conference title since 2009.

Author: UTEP Athletics

UTEP’s Rotich and Koech Named USTFCCCA All-Americans

On Monday, Anthony Rotich and Jonah Koech were named United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association All Americans for their performance at the NCAA Championships on Saturday.

Rotich garnered his fourth-straight All-America honor becoming only the third male runner in program history to accomplish such a feat (James Munyala and Suleiman Nyambui). The four-time national champion started off with a rigorous pace and ran with a separated pack of three other leaders for half the race. After 5K, he tired a little, but was still able to cross the finish line in 15th place with a 10K time of 30:06.6.

Koech became the first freshman since the aforementioned Rotich to receive All-America honors. The native Kenyan ended up surpassing

Rotich in the final 1K to finish 11th just outside of the top 10; his time for the 10K was 30:04.4.

Rotich and Koech became the first Miners to achieve this feat since Japheth Ng’ojoy and Nicodemus Ng’etich were named All Americans in 2008. The duo were also the only Conference USA athletes to be named to the All-American team.

Author: UTEP Athletics

UTEP Men’s Team secures return trip to NCAAs

On Friday afternoon at the UNM Golf Course, freshman Jonah Koech became only the second runner in UTEP program history (Anthony Rotich-2014) to win an NCAA Mountain Regional. Koech and Rotich dashed to a one-two finish on their way to securing UTEP a berth in the Big Dance.

“Jonah and Anthony controlled the race from the beginning,” UTEP cross country head coach Paul Ereng said. “With about 1K left in the race, they made a push together and finished out the race strong.

“I was very pleased with how the other four runners performed as well and they looked amazing today. Today’s race was well executed in high altitude and we knocked off the No. 3 team in the country (BYU). I think we have a very good chance of finishing strong next weekend at the NCAA Championships.”

The UTEP men placed all six of their runners inside the top 45 in a field of 106 athletes to earn a final tally of 77 points. The Miners nearly upset No. 1 Colorado (67 points), but were able to defeat the third ranked BYU Cougars (98 points).

Koech and Rotich who have been running mates all year long dominated the 10K course in Albuquerque. Koech (29:57.50) and Rotich (29:57.59) pulled away from the lead pack with less than 800 meters to go and the rest was history. The duo became the first tandem in UTEP history to register a one-two showing at the NCAA Mountain Regionals.

Junior Cosmas Boit turned in a valiant effort on his way to a 13th-place showing with a 10K time of 30:16.89. Antony Kosgei crossed the finish line in 28th place with a readout of 30:49.66.

Daniel Cheruiyot (31:16.38/35th) and Evans Kiprono (31:41.58/45th) were the final finishers for the Orange and Blue.

The men’s team will travel to Louisville, Ky., next weekend (Nov. 21/Saturday) for the NCAA Championships.

WOMEN’S RECAP

The women’s team was able to place three underclassmen inside the top 50 in a field of 127 runners on Friday afternoon, but none were able to advance to the NCAA Championships.

Freshman standout Lilian Koech paced the way for the Orange and Blue by clocking a 6K time of 22:00.64 to place 37th.

Sophomore Joan Jepkirui and freshman Gladys Jerotich finished back to back in 46th and 47th place; Jepkirui (22:16.14) and Jerotich (22:16.84) ran well together.

Truphena Sum clocked a 6K time of 23:49.90 and Lilliana Valdespino followed up with a readout of 26:43.70

Author: UTEP Athletics

‘Mining Minds’ sculpture to be lit in honor of Miner Cross Country team

The “Mining Minds” pick ax sculpture at UTEP’s University Avenue roundabout will be illuminated in blue and orange Friday evening, November 6 to celebrate The University of Texas at El Paso men’s cross country team, which claimed the 2015 Conference USA cross country championship title with 19 points on Saturday, Oct. 31.
utepxcteamThis 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,” said Coach Paul Ereng, the 2015 Conference USA Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year. “I’m very proud of what our guys accomplished, and we racked up plenty of awards.”

“Mining Minds” is an iconic piece of public art installed in 2010 to enhance the UTEP campus.

At night, orange lights illuminate the steel structure while light from LEDs emanate from the perforated “ones” and “zeroes” at each end of the pick.

On special occasions, including historic dates, major annual milestones and to celebrate special accomplishments, the pick is illuminated in blue and orange.

Learn more about the statue and its artist at miningminds.utep.edu

Author: UTEP

UTEP Men’s XCountry Ranked 13th Nationally; Rotich, Koech Sweep C-USA Awards

Tuesday was a good day for the UTEP cross country program. The men’s team finally cracked the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association top-30 poll and Anthony Rotich (male) and Lilian Koech (female) were named the Conference USA Athletes of the Week.

Coming off a dominant performance at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational, the men’s team catapulted itself all the way to the 13th spot in the country. The Miners knocked off five ranked teams on their way to a team victory. UTEP scored a team total of 89 points to knock off second-place North Carolina State (97 points).

The trendsetter for the Miners was four-time national champion Anthony Rotich. With one of the best performances in the country, he took gold, for the second time in his career at the Notre Dame Invitational, with an 8K time of 23:49.1. For his efforts, he was named the Male Conference USA Athlete of the Week; this is his first award during the 2015 season, and a conference record 12th time during his career. Rotich won the race in wire-to-wire fashion and bested 166 other athletes.

Lilian Koech collected a personal best on Saturday with a 5K time of 17:09.8 to finish 28th in a field of 171 runners. The freshman, who was running at her first national meet, maintained her composure throughout the race and stuck with her pace to lead the Miners.

Koech was ablet to keep up and knock off several elite runners in a race field that included a plethora of USTFCCCA nationally ranked opponents (as of Sept. 29: No. 1 New Mexico, No. 14 NC State, No. 20 Notre Dame, RV Purdue and RV SMU). This is the freshman’s first C-USA weekly award of her cross country career and UTEP’s second female athlete of the week honor in 2015.

Author: UTEP Athletics

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