The Grambling State University Cross Country team competed in the Southern University Invitational meet on Saturday, Sept. 7.
The Tigers are off to a great start and they look to continue their success as the year continues.
In their first meet of the season, GSU had both a runner from the men’s and women’s team to come in first place, while both teams placed third overall.
In their first meet, they showcased their preparedness, and look to continue this type of movement as they strive to win another SWAC title.
In the men’s race, Fred Chepyegon, a freshman, won first place for the Tigers.
Though this was his first collegiate meet, Chepyegon’s performance showed the expectations he holds for himself and his team for the season.
“As a freshman, my goal is just to deliver,” Chepyegon said. “We have to win and find our way to the national championship this season. We can achieve this by continuing to train well and maintaining high levels of discipline.”
Chepyegon said he was nervous about his first meet and did not expect a victory because he did not know what to expect.
“It was my first time competing in a cross country meet in my life,” Chepyegon said. “I feel like my anxiety played a role in me emerging as the winner last weekend.”
Chepyegon was anxious and tense, but he stuck to his game plan and as the race continued, he ended with a great margin of victory.
Naomi Kiprop also won first place in the women’s cross country bout.
Kiprop is the reigning indoor SWAC 5,000 meter champion and the reigning SWAC Indoor MVP. This season, she is looking to continue her dominance in the long distance runs and get a gold medal in the cross country championship.
Though the Tigers had both first place winners, their ultimate goal is to become a team that will finish in first place overall.
The Tigers look to continue their dominance in the SWAC in cross country. Though the team had success in this meet Head Coach Bertram Lovell looks for the Tigers to focus on improving as the season progresses.
”We’re still not in shape yet,” Lovell said. “Right now we are focused on practicing to get stronger for the rest of the season.”
Grambling is expected to win the cross country title just as they have in recent years.
Lovell’s cross country teams have won over 20 SWAC Championships, but coach uses their success to motivate his team to work even harder.
“As soon as we get a chance to start practicing at top form, we expect great things from the team,” Lovell said. “Once that happens we can get to the point where we were last year and years behind that.”
As the Tigers move further into the season, their expectations will remain high and they are working to make sure they will meet and exceed those expectations.