FILE: UTEP senior Linda Cheruiyot [L], UTEP junior Carolyne Chepkosgei [R] at last year’s event in Las Cruces | Photo by Michael Reese
SALT LAKE CITY – UTEP senior Linda Cheruiyot and UTEP freshman Titus Cheruiyot advanced to the NCAA Championships after their performances at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships Friday afternoon at Rose Park Golf Course.
“Linda and Titus are in [the nationals], but we are still waiting for Winny Koech as we’ll find out her situation by tomorrow,” UTEP Head Coach Paul Ereng said. “Titus performed with a lot of heart today. He fell twice in the race, but he got right back up and fought hard to get in. He showed a fighting spirit of a real champion.”
Linda finished as the top Miner and 11th overall in the women’s 5K, clocking in a time of 20:17.1, while Titus placed 19th overall, registering a time of 31:04.0 in the men’s 10K.
Koech, who has an outside shot to advance to nationals, placed in 16th place (20:25.1). Carolyne Chepkosgei (42nd, 21:08.9), Joan Kimaiyo (117th, 23:00.4) and Andrea Lucero (127th, 24:33.9) rounded out the UTEP competitors.
Koech will find out her fate on the NCAA Selection show on NCAA.com at 3 p.m. MT.
Overall, the UTEP women finished in 11th out of 19 programs. BYU claimed the team championship, while New Mexico placed second.
“I’m really excited and happy with the women. They performed well today,” Ereng said. “All-in-all, I’m happy with the performance as I expected them to run well.”
A pair of runners from New Mexico finished as the top two performers, as Weini Kelati won the individual title (18:58.7) and her teammate Ednah Kurgat finished in second place.
On the men’s side, Rodgers Korir (31:40.2) placed 41st and Boaz Ronoh (32:43.0) finished 71st. Cornelius Kapel (94th, 33:25.7), Kenneth Talavera (122nd, 35:21.7), Kayn Quinones (128th, 36:23.7) and Michael Sims (129th, 36:27.5) rounded out the UTEP men’s runners.
The Miner men placed 13th.
No.1-ranked Northern Arizona won the team event, while Gerodie Beamish of NAU won the individual title with a time of 30:25.6. Luis Grijalva (30:27.8) and Brodey Hasty (30:30.8) also of NAU, finished second and third, respectively.
Up next, the NCAA National Championships will be Novemebr 23 in Terre Haute, Indiana