Both Blue Raider cross country teams finished second in the Conference USA Championships Saturday morning in Charlotte.
Freshman Jacob Choge continues to be the star for the No. 29 ranked men’s team, placing first overall in the meet with an outstanding 23:54.2 time in the 8k. Choge was named C-USA Freshman of the Meet and crowned as the Individual Champion. Associate Head Coach Keith Vroman is very pleased with his freshman’s performance this year.
“I’m proud of Jacob Choge today stepping up during the championships today,” said Vroman. “He beat some of the best runners in the country today.”
Four different Blue Raiders finished in the Top 10, with sophomore Kigen Chemadi placing fourth (24:11.1), Sampson Laari finishing seventh (24:25.6), and Amos Cheruiyot placing 10th (24:46.7).
Choge, Chemadi, and Laari were named First Team All-Conference. Cheruiyot and senior Hillary Rono were named Second Team All-Conference. Geoffry Cheruiyot finished 15th and was named Third Team All-Conference.
The team finished with 36 points, which is the best finish in Middle Tennessee history in the C-USA Championships. No. 21 UTEP finished with 24 points and repeated as C-USA champions.
The women’s squad raced well today, placing second for the second year in-a-row, behind Rice who was picked to win the conference in the preseason poll. The team finished with 89 points overall.
Senior Hannah Maina stepped up in a major way, finishing seventh overall (17:40.7) against a tough field. Maina has been the first Blue Raider to cross the finish line in five out of six races this season.
Freshman Susan Aneno finished just behind Maina, placing ninth overall (17:45.1) in the 5k. Rhema Cheruiyot rounded out the Top 20 with a time of 18:04.3.
Maina was named First Team All-Conference, while Aneno was named Second Team All-Conference. Cheruiyot received the honor of Third Team All-Conference.
“I’m proud of how hard both teams competed today,” stated Vroman. “All these athletes have worked so hard during the season and shined today.”
Middle Tennessee is slated to return to competition Nov. 11 at 9 a.m. for the NCAA Regionals in Tallahassee, Fla.
Men’s Team Results (Top 5)
1. UTEP (24
2. Middle Tennessee (36)
3. Charlotte (92)
4. North Texas (105)
5. Rice (150)
Middle Tennessee Individual Men’s Results (8k)
1. Jacob Choge (23:54.2) (Freshman of the Meet & First Team All-Conference)
4. Kigen Chemadi (24:11.1) (First Team All-Conference)
7. Sampson Laari (24:25.6) (First Team All-Conference)
10. Amos Cheruiyot (24:46.7) (Second Team All-Conference)
14. Hillary Rono (24:58.7) (Second Team All-Conference)
15. Geoffry Cheruiyot (25:08.2) (Third Team All-Conference)
42. Shadrack Matelong (26:33.3)
Women’s Team Results (Top 5)
1. Rice (48)
2. Middle Tennessee (89)
3. UTEP (100)
4. Southern Miss (109)
5. Charlotte (116)
Middle Tennessee Individual Women’s Results (5k)
7. Hannah Maina (17:40.7) (First Team All-Conference)
9. Susan Aneno (17:45.1) (Second Team All-Conference)
20. Rhema Cheruiyot (18:04.3) (Third Team All-Conference)
26. Josphine Kiptebeny (18:20.9)
27. Agnes Abu (18:21.6)
43. Rachel Kigen (18:53.5)
44. Abike Egbiniyi (18:55.2)
64. Sharon Kibiwott (19:35.4)