The UTEP men’s and women’s cross country team kicked off their 2014 campaign Friday afternoon at the Texas Tech--UTEP--New Mexico State Triangular meet. The Miners were represented well by both squads.
“This was a very good opener for the men’s team and the women’s team also did well by placing two ladies in the top 10,” head coach Paul Ereng said. “However, we still need improvement from everyone on our team to continue our success.”
The men’s team dominated the four-mile run. Junior Anthony Rotich won the race and cruised to the finish line with a stellar time of 20:07.40. Crossing the finish line just half a minute after Rotich was junior Elphas Maiyo. Evans Kiprono wrapped up a top-three sweep with a third-place finish. Kiprono finished with a time of 21:05.40.
Daniel Cheruiyout and Ramon Garcia rounded out the competition for the Miners finishing in ninth and 22nd place, respectively.
To determine the team title, times were taken from the top-five runners from each school. UTEP claimed first place with an average time of 21:24.26.
On the women’s side of things, freshman Joan Jepkirui performed about as well as you can in a debut. The Kenyan native placed second in the three-mile run with a time of 17:42.90. Sophomore Truphena Sum was not too far behind Jepkirui. Sum clocked a time of 18:27.90 to register a sixth-place finish.
The Miners completed the meet with finishes in the mid-twenties by Veronica Alvarez, Bethany Belmonte and Laura Delgado.
The Lady Miners took third place in the team event with an average time of 20:00.70.
The UTEP cross country team will continue its 2014 slate next weekend when they head to the Lobos Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M., on Sept. 6.