FILE: UTEP senior Linda Cheruiyot [L], UTEP junior Carolyne Chepkosgei [R] at last year’s event in Las Cruces | Photo by Michael Reese
UTEP cross country will host the 35th Lori Fitzgerald Memorial on Friday, Sept. 13 at Chamizal National Memorial Park.
Joining the Miners will be El Paso Community College, NM State, Sul Ross and Western New Mexico. The men will open the meet in the 7K with the gun going off at 6 p.m., while the women’s 5K will shoot off at 6:45 p.m.
Running for the men will be Cory Calvani, Titus Cheruiyot, Alek Duran, Cornelius Kapel, Rodgers Korir, Daniel Maes, Allan Ortiz, Kayn Quinones, Boaz Ronoh, Michael Sims and Kenneth Talavera. For the women, last year’s champion Linda Cheruiyot, Carolyne Chepkosgei, Karoline Daland, Valerie Gonzalez, Joan Kimaiyo, Winny Koech and Jacquilyn Orozco will suit up.
Titus Cheruiyot is off to a fast start in his collegiate career as the freshman raced out to a first-place finish in the 5K at the Lobo Invitational Aug. 31 in Albuquerque N.M. Cheruiyot posted a time of 15:17.88, while teammate Korir (15:18.64) finished second in a tight competition.
The UTEP men’s team tallied 44 points, placing second behind New Mexico (35 points). The women’s team finished third with a score of 74 behind NM State (51) and New Mexico (40).
Linda Cheruiyot (18:15.81) placed second overall to lead her squad, while Chepkosgei (18:22.47) finished third overall.
A BIT OF LORI FITZGERALD HISTORY
Lori Fitzgerald, a native of Denver, Colo., was recruited to UTEP by then-cross country and distance coach Gary Mazziotti in 1985. She was offered a full academic scholarship to attend Brown University at the end of her high school career.
Fitzgerald chose to become a student-athlete at The University of Texas at El Paso.
Fitzgerald was with the program for only three weeks in El Paso before a tragic accident. She was hit by a farming truck in the Upper Valley of Sunland Park Drive while warming up for the teams’ last time trial run to determine the top seven runners.
It happened a week before what would have been her first cross country competition at UTEP.
“I’ve had many feelings and emotions over the years with Lori’s accident,” Mazziotti wrote in an email recently. “She was such a beautiful human being – Lori was giving and caring towards everyone she met. She was a three-time state champion from Colorado and a high school valedictorian.”
Maziotti is a UTEP alumni, class of 1973 and was a team member of the 1969 cross country team. He went on to become the cross country and distance coach for three seasons (1984-1986). He currently lives in Los Angeles and will attend Friday’s meet.