What you need to know:
- Kericho and Kaptagat runners win senior University of Eldoret races.
- Athletes maintain form from last weekend’s season opener at Ndalat.
Kaptagat-based Nicholas Korir and Kericho runner Eva Cherono on Saturday won the senior races at the 27th edition of University of Eldoret Cross Country Championships.
Korir was among the leading group in the senior men’s race that increased the pace with five athletes in the pack.
It was then a sprint finish after Korir controlled the pace in the last two kilometres before cutting the tape in 28 minutes, 46.8 seconds in the 10-kilometre race.
Korir, fresh from winning the Isaiah Kiplagat Memorial Ndalat Gaa Cross Country Championships last weekend, said he was not prepared for yesterday’s race and the win came as a surprise.
“I’m happy my season has started very well after winning the first two races. I had not recovered well since last weekend but I’m surprised I was good in good shape and I was able to win,” said the athlete.
He said that he is focused in his training and his goal is to be in the Kenyan team for the Commonwealth Games that will be held in Gold Coast, Australia next April.
“I’m using the races to prepare myself for the Commonwealth Games where I want to participate in 5,000 metres where Kenya has not been doing well. I want to try my luck and see if I can bring the medal home,” said Korir.
Noah Kipkemboi came in second place after clocking 28:47.8 while Alfred Barkach was third in 28:57.1.
In the women’s category, Cherono improved from last weekend’s performance after taking control of the race in the last two kilometres before clocking 25:54.6 to finish ahead of Daisy Kimeli, who clocked in 26:06.4 while Yasemin Can, who represents Turkey, was third in 26:28.8.
Cherono, who trains in Kiptere, Kericho County, said that she was prepared for the race after finishing second at Ndalat last weekend.
“I knew the race was tough and after taking position two in Ndalat I had to improve my training and that is why I was able to win today,” said the 21-year-old athlete.
She is also aiming to be in the Commonwealth Games team next year where, like Korir, she will be eyeing a slot in the 5,000 metres team.
In the men’s junior category (8km), a fourth form student at Kimwogo High School, Elgeyo Marakwet County, Ronex Kipruto proved that he was unbeatable after clocking 22:50.7 to finish ahead of Josephat Kipchirchir who ran 22:57.7 while Vincent Kiprotich sealed the podium after clocking 23:01.5.
In the junior women’s category (6km), Dorcas Chepchirchir overcame stiff competition to win in 20:09.2, finishing ahead of Salome Kipruto, who clocked 20:38.1, while Carline Jelimo was third in 20:47.3.
6km junior women:
1. Dorcas Chepchirchir 20:09.2
2. Salome Kipruto 20:38.1
3. Caroline Jelimo 20:47.3
4. Sarah Chepkwemboi 21:02.7
5. Nelly Chepkoech 21:07.8
8km junior men:
1. Ronex Kipruto 22:50.7
2. Josephat Kipchirchir 22:57.7
3. Vincent Kiprotich 23:01.5
4. Michael Kibet 23:06.4
5. Robert Kiprop 23:23.4
8km senior women:
1. Eva Cherono 25:54.6
2. Daisy Kimeli 26:06.4
3. Yasemin Can 26:28.8
4. Lydia Rotich 26:31.5
5. Valary Chemeli 26:36.4
10km senior men:
1. Nicholas Korir 28:46.8
2. Noah Kipkemboi 27:48.8
3. Alfred Barkach 28:57.1
4. Sammy Kirui 29:23.4
5. Fredrick Kipkosgei 29:27.9