The UTEP cross country men’s and women’s teams hosted the Lori Fitzgerald Classic; their only home meet of the season on Friday afternoon at the Chamizal Memorial National Park.
On a hot and sunny afternoon, both the men’s and women’s teams had a dominating performance as they earned both team and individual titles.
UTEP competed against NM State and El Paso Community College.
“I was proud of both Miners men’s and women’s performance, although today was another low-key meet,” UTEP head coach Paul Ereng said. “I was especially impressed by Jerotich and Koech leading the women. As for the men Kosgei, Boit, and Cheruiyot also looked good running as a pack. We will need to change the tempo for the next meet as our major competition is just around the corner.”
The women placed four runners in the top-six to clinch the team title with a total of 21 points. For the second meet in a row, Gladys Jerotich was the front runner for the Orange and Blue. She finished first with a 4.7K time of 17:49.5. Winny Koech followed Jerotich’s pace, as she crossed the line second with a time of 17:57.8.
Junior Kayla Pallares registered a fourth-place finishing time of 18:04.2 and freshman Linda Cheruiyot tailed behind to claim sixth (18:23.7).
Truphena Sum (18:50.1) took eighth place and Veronica Alvarez (20:15.0) finished 16th to round out the Miners’ triumphant performance.
The men’s teams ran a 6.4K following the women’s race. The Orange and Blue claimed the title by a landslide as they calculated a total of 17 points; EPCC followed with 47 points. UTEP had four runners finish in the top-six spots as well.
Sophomore Antony Kosgei set the pace for the Miners as he was the first to cross the finish line, clocking a 6.4K time of 19:09.3. Daniel Cheruiyot (19:33.4) and Cosmas Boit (20:35.0) took fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Senior Evans Kiprono registered a sixth-place finishing time of 20:57.6, coming in closely behind Boit. Freshman Emmanuel Korir (21:43.0) placed 10th to complete the Miners’ impressive efforts.
The Miners are nearing the bigger competitions as the season progresses, with the Notre Dame Joe Piane Invitational approaching at the end of the month.
UTEP cross country will head up I-10 next weekend to compete in the Kachina Classic in Las Cruces, N.M., on Sept. 17.