Sprinter Makena transitions to Cross County in style

Evangeline Makena

Evangeline Makena competes in 10km senior women during the Athletics Kenya Nairobi Region Cross Country Championship on January 14, 2023 at Nairobi West Women Prisons ground.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Starehe’s Stephen Lemayian, who scaled to senior ranks with a bang, won the men’s 10km in 29:19.3.
  • Lemayian, who finished ninth during the National Cross Country Championships last year at Lobo Village in Uasin Gishu, beat Kamukunji’s Arion Kipkoech and Brian Kiptoo from Lang’ata to second and third places in 30:02.6 and 30:10.3 respectively.

Sprinter Evangeline Makena made a great transition to distance running when she won the women's 10 kilometres race during the Athletics Kenya Nairobi Region Cross Country Championships at Kenya Prisons Nairobi West ground on Saturday.

Makena, who celebrated her 25th birthday on Thursday, broke away from two teammates from Makadara with three laps to go to win the race in 35 minutes and 21.3 seconds.

Makena outclassed teammates Lydia Nyansigera and Catherine Njehia to second and third places in 35:35.9 and 35:49.7 respectively.

Makena, who competes in 400m to 100m, said she is ready to lead Nairobi assault at the National Cross Country Championships on January 21 at the Kenya Prisons Staff Training College, Ruiru, Kiambu.

“It feels great to win my maiden cross country race. The race was quite competitive but I will have to improve on my speed to make an impact at the nationals,” said Makena, who was among the Kenyan athletes who were affected by high testosterone levels back in 2019.

“I know the busy track season is about to start but I will keep my options open. I just want to focus on good training,” said Makena, who will be taking part in the national cross country for the first time.

Starehe’s Stephen Lemayian, who scaled to senior ranks with a bang, won the men’s 10km in 29:19.3.

Lemayian, who finished ninth during the National Cross Country Championships last year at Lobo Village in Uasin Gishu, beat Kamukunji’s Arion Kipkoech and Brian Kiptoo from Lang’ata to second and third places in 30:02.6 and 30:10.3 respectively.

“It was a challenging event owing to the difficult stony terrains and high humidity,” said Lemayian, who competed for Central Region as a junior last year, finishing third.

“I might have improved on my speed but I just have to polish further since the nationals are a different ball game altogether,” said the 20-year-old who trains in Ngong under coach Stephen Njenga.

“I want to thank my coach for his training program that has drastically improved my game,” said Lemayian, who will shift his gears to track, targeting to perform well in 5,000m and 10,000m.

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