Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez | UTEP
LAS CRUCES â€“Â The UTEP menâ€™s cross-country team captured the 5K team title, while Maxwell Kipkosgei placed second at the 35thÂ Lori Fitzgerald Memorial Open on Saturday morning at NM State Golf Course.
The UTEP men literally ran away from the competition with 39 points, while second-place New Mexico tallied 60 points. It was UTEPâ€™s second consecutive first-place finish after winning the event in 2019 at Chamizal National Memorial Park.
â€śThe men and women did very well. The men competed much better than they did from a few weeks ago. We packed the group in the middle very well,â€ť UTEP Head Coach Paul Ereng said. â€śWeâ€™ve improved on times on both the womenâ€™s and menâ€™s side and weâ€™re looking forward to the next meet in two weeks. The training is going very well and by the time the [Conference USA] meet comes, we should be in a place where we want to be with the team we have.â€ť
Five Miners finished in the top 11. Kipkosgei (second place) clocked in a 14:47.50, while Rodgers Korir (15:18.19) finished in seventh place. Titus Cheruiyot, who competed in his first xc event of 2021, placing ninth (15:21.31), while Kenneth Talavera (15:22.84) finished 10th, and Gabriel Armijo (15:24.04) in 11th.
Juan Olmos and Yusuf Mohamud also competed for the menâ€™s squad.
The UTEP women placed third (66 points) in the 5K, while Ruth Jerubet (17:42.52), who finished in fifth place (out of 45 competitors), was the top finisher for the Miners. Karoline Daland (17:52.78) finished in seventh place. Carolyne Chepkosgei (16th, 19:24.93), Joan Kimaiyo (20th, 19:40.30) and Andrea Lucero (21st, 19:41.08) rounded out the finishers.
Jacquilyn Orozco also took the track for the Miners.
New Mexico (35 points) won the womenâ€™s event, while Stephanie Parsons (unattached) won the individual race with a time of 17:01. New Mexico Highlandsâ€™ Andrew Amor won the menâ€™s individual title with a time of 14:42.
The Miners will take the road to Louisville, Ky., to compete at the Live in Lou XC Classic hosted by the University of Louisville on Saturday, Oct. 2.