Photo: UTEP

UTEP XCountry headed to Albuquerque for NCAA Mountain Regionals

The UTEP men’s and women’s cross country teams will take the quick trip up Interstate 25 to compete in the NCAA Mountain Regionals on Friday at the University of New Mexico North Golf Course.

The women’s race (6K) will begin at 12 p.m. and the men’s race (10K) will follow at 1 p.m.

The men’s team enters their second postseason race ranked 11th in the country and third in the Mountain Region behind No. 1 Colorado and No. 3 BYU. The Miners will look to head to the NCAA Championships as a team for the second-straight year. UTEP holds a balmy head to head record of 67-3 this season.

Anthony Rotich, the 2014 Mountain Region Athlete of the Year, will lead the ferociously wild-running Miners. Rotich became the first runner in UTEP program history to win a NCAA Mountain Regional last year at the same course the team will be running this year; he clocked an 10K time of 29:28.6 to finish first in a field of 106 runners.

Jonah Koech and Cosmas Boit will be the duo behind the lead man looking to rack up UTEP as few points as possible. Koech has finished no worse than sixth place this year and has run next to Rotich in every race. Boit has had a stellar junior season with three top-10 finishes and a 14th-place showing at the Notre Dame Invitational in a field of over 200 runners.

Rounding out the starting six for the Miners will be Antony Kosgei, Daniel Cheruiyot and Evans Kiprono. Kiprono and Kosgei could fill in huge with solid performances; at the Conference USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Kiprono took silver and Kosgei took bronze in the 10K event. Cheruiyot has notched four top-10 showings this season and will look to improve upon a 32nd-place showing from last year’s Mountain Regional.

On the women’s side, Joan Jepkirui will be looking for her first appearance at the NCAA Championships. Last year, Jepkirui finished 11th individually at the regional, missing a bid to nationals by one spot.

Freshmen Gladys Jerotich and Lilian Koech, both whom have three-top 10 performances on the year, will be looking to earn a trip to Louisville, Ky., for the big dance.

Truphena Sum, Lilliana Valdespino and Yara Cortez-Alaniz will round out the starting six for the women’s side.

Author: UTEP Athletics