Cross country off to a running start

The cross-country season is underway, and both the men and women teams are off to strong performances.  

This past Saturday Sept. 15,  the teams competed at the Louisiana Tech Mook Invitational held at Tech Farm in Ruston, La. Grambling State University’s Naomi Kiprop won the women’s race, while Hassan Chepkwony placed third in the men’s division. Being in fourth place for the majority of the 4-mile course, Kiprop sprinted to victory at the right time. Kiprop had a time of 15:37 beating the field by 14 seconds, which led her to the first place finish.

Not only did Kiprop have a strong performance, but the women’s team as a group. Halima Chepkwony came in 11th place with a time of 16:48.8, with Winny Chirchir coming in 13th at 17:21.1. Priscilla Kibet came in 21st with a time of 18:41, and Angelica Brown coming in 26th with a time of 18:38.3. Grambling finished in a tiebreaker for second, but due to the tiebreaker, they took third with 72 points.

On the men’s side, Hassan Chepkwony was steady during the whole race leading the pack. Unfortunately, runners from Northwestern State and Louisiana Tech finished two spots ahead of him, with a time of 20:42.2 Chepkwony claimed third place. Aaron Koech finished 15th at 22:15.8, while Noah Rugut (22:33.6) and Hillary Kiprop (22:37.6) came in at the 18th and 20th spots. Jeremiah Kimeli came in 33rd with 24:18.8 and Bryson Bradford finished in 37th with 25:00.4. Overall, Grambling captured third place with 79 points, as Northwestern took second with 68 points, and Louisiana Tech coming in first with 29 points.

Having team chemistry is something that is important for any successful. Coach Primmecha Coates views everyone on both the men and women’s team as exceptional athletes.

“Everyone on the cross country team is phenomenal, they are all key players and leaders,” Coates said. “They run together in pack and do not leave one another behind.”

The GSU men and women teams will return to action Saturday, Sept. 29 at the McNeese Cowboy Stampede in Lake Charles, La.