UTEP XC’s Carolyne Chepkosgei | Photo courtesy C-USA
The UTEP cross country team is set to compete at the 35th Lori Fitzgerald Memorial Open at the NM State Golf Course on Saturday morning.
The men’s 5K will begin at 7:40 a.m. MT, while the women’s 5K will start at 8:10 a.m.
Along with UTEP and host NM State, El Paso Community College, New Mexico, New Mexico Highlands and Western New Mexico will be competing. Live results available here.
“[Lori Fitzgerald Memorial] is usually an emotional meet for the team and especially for the girls,” UTEP Head Coach Paul Ereng said. “Last year, COVID prevented us from competing and we’re looking forward to competing this weekend. We’ve been training hard the last few weeks and I think our team is ready.”
Making the trip up I-10 for the men are Gabriel Armijo, Maxwell Kipkosgei, Rodgers Korir, Yusuf Mohamud, Juan Olmos, Michael Sims, Kenneth Talavera and Osaze Williams.
Traveling for the women are Carolyne Chepkosgei, Karoline Daland, Ruth Jerubet, Joan Kimaiyo, Andrea Lucero, Jacquilyn Orozco and Victoria Ovalles.
It’s the first time in two years that the event will be held after it was canceled last year due to COVID-19. NM State is also hosting for the first time since the 2018 season.
The event was last held on Sept. 13, 2019 when both the UTEP men’s and women’s teams captured the team titles at Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso. Rodgers Korir won the men’s 6.4K individual title, clocking in a 19:29.14, while Winny Koech won the women’s 4.7K race.
Lori Fitzgerald, a native of Denver, 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.