Boca Raton, Fl. – The UTEP women’s cross country team made history earning its first conference title on Saturday morning at the 2018 Air Force Reserve Conference USA Cross Country Championships.
The women’s team took four of the top-six spots on the leaderboard helping the Miners register a total of 44 points to secure the win by four points. Previously, the women’s cross country team earned second-place finishes at the conference championships in 1996, 2003 and 2009, but this is the first time the Miners took the crown.
“I was very impressed by the spirit the ladies displayed during the race today,” said head coach Paul Ereng. “Each of them wanted the team to win and made a tremendous effort especially towards the end of the race.”
Juniors Linda Cheruiyot and Winny Koech led the squad with a gold and silver finish at the Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park. Cheruiyot posted a time of 16:56.12 in the 5K, winning her second meet of the season. Koech clocked in a time of 16:58.68 earning her fifth top-two finish of the year.
Carolyn Chepkosgei and Lilian Koech garnered first team honors. Chepkosgei crossed the finish line with a time of 17:15.33, taking fifth overall. Koech recorded a season-best time of 17:15.86 to finish sixth and earn C-USA Senior of the Meet.
Rounding out the women’s top five was newcomer Karoline Daland with a personal-best time of 18:30.46.
Sophomore’s Andrea Lucero and Destiny White registered personal bests of 19:54.13 and 20:11.74, respectively.
Head coach Paul Ereng garnered C-USA Coach of the Year for leading the women’s team to a title.
“I am also very proud of our men’s team because they did a good job compared to last year,” said Ereng. “Boaz was a runner up, while Korir and Kapel were hot on his heels.”
Heading the men’s team was freshman Boaz Ronoh, notching a silver medal finish with a personal best of 24:11.38 in the 8K. Ronoh was named the C-USA Freshman of the Meet for his performance.
Freshman Rodgers Korir claimed first team honors with a fifth-place finish of 24:27.47.
Sophomore Cornelius Kapel earned second team recognition posting an 11th-place showing clocking in at 24:47.55.
Senior Anthony Kosgei (26:14.52) and Isaiah Page (27:16.86) rounded out the Miners top five.
The young men’s team finished fourth overall with 99 points.
The UTEP cross country team will return to the course on Nov. 9 at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships in Provo, Utah.