The UTEP men’s and women’s cross country teams will head to the eastern time zone this weekend to compete at Pre Nationals in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday. The race will be held at the E.P. Tom Sawyer Park and the men will run an 8K race, while the women will cover a distance of 6K.
The race will benefit the Miners in two ways: it will be another chance for both teams to run against superior competition and it will give the teams a chance to scope at the course they will run at the NCAA Championships in mid November.
The men will run in the seeded race that is slated to begin at 7:30 a.m. (MT). The 13th ranked Orange and Blue will be facing off against 10 other teams ranked inside of the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association top-30 poll including No. 1 ranked Colorado and No. 3 ranked Oregon.
Anthony Rotich is the only member of the men’s team to have run at this course. In 2012, as a freshman, Rotich shocked the field at the Pre Nationals and took first place in a field of 271 runners. He crushed the field and clocked a, still to this day, personal best of 23:01.00. The past two years, Rotich has finished seventh (2014) and second (2013) at Pre Nationals.
Cosmas Boit, Evans Kiprono and Daniel Cheruiyot are the only other three Miners to run at Pre Nationals. Last year at Pre Nationals, Boit registered an 8K time of 24:54.8 to finish 38th for UTEP.
Standout freshmen Jonah Koech and Antony Kosgei will tag along with the other four runners in their first career Pre National race.
The women will run in the unseeded race that will start at 9:30 a.m. (MT). The team will run against some Power 5 foes as well as conference opponent Western Kentucky.
The trio of Joan Jepkirui, Truphena Sum and Lilliana Valdespino are the only ones to have competed at the Pre Nationals. Last year, Jepkirui was the catalyst and finished her 6K in 22:21.0 to place 27th.
Lilian Koech, Gladys Jerotich and Yara Cortez-Alaniz will be competing in their first Pre National contest. Koech and Jerotich have been the sparkplugs for the women’s team in 2015.
For live updates of the race Saturday morning follow @UTEPTrack on Twitter.
Author: UTEP Athletics