TERRE HAUTE, Ind.– The UTEP men’s cross country team clinched a sixth-place finish overall at Pre Nationals in a field of 41 teams, eight of which were ranked inside the top-30 of the nation.
No. 4 Oregon took gold with 85 points, No. 5 Arkansas followed with 110 points, while No. 6 Colorado took bronze with 124 points. No. Michigan (200 points) came in fourth-place, and No. 13 Indiana secured fifth (255 points) to edge out UTEP (258 points) by only three points.
The Orange and Blue surpassed two other nationally ranked teams, No. 7 Portland (753 points) and No. 15 Eastern Kentucky (604 points) who finished 22nd.
Senior Cosmas Boit was the first Miner to cross the line at ninth-place with an 8K time of 24:12.00 in a field of 263 runners. Sophomore Antony Kosgei displayed an impressive performance as he followed right behind Boit nearly one second after past the finish to seize 10th place in 24:13.1. This has been the second consecutive 8K event where Kosgei has been the second finisher from UTEP.
Freshman Michael Saruni was the third finisher for the Miners as he dashed to a 32nd-place showing in 24:35.5. Daniel Cheruiyot (25:04.6) trailed in 72nd-place followed by the fifth runner for UTEP, Evans Kiprono (139th) who ran his 8K in 25:33.0.
Freshman Emmanuel Korir rounded out the Miners’ efforts in his first Pre Nationals event of his career. Korir registered an 8K time of 25:48.4 to come in at 173rd.
The UTEP women’s cross country team amassed a fifth-place team finish overall in the women’s 6K white race with 182 points.
Freshman Winny Koech boasted an impressive performance as she led the Miners during her first career 6K race. Koech was the first from the UTEP women’s team to complete the race, cruising in at third place with a time of 20:57.6 in a course of 167 runners.
The pair of stellar underclassmen Lilian Koech (21:07.2) and Linda Cheruiyot (21:45.7) finished fifth and 21st, respectively. Lilian Koech registered a personal-best 6K time as well.
Gladys Jerotich also achieved a personal-best 6K time of 22:03.0 as she finished in 34th place. Kayla Pallares (124th) was the fifth runner for the women’s team, clocking a finishing time of 23:26.7 during her first 6K while running with UTEP.
Closing up the women’s efforts were Truphena Sum (131st) who notched a finishing time of 23:37.3, and Veronica Alvarez in 25:36.0.
The Miners have a two-week hiatus to prepare for Conference USA Championships in Charlotte, N.C. at the end of the month on Oct. 29.