Sunday, February 5, 2023

X-Country Performs Well Against Stacked Field

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Erman Jepleting. Photo/UNCP Athletics

Joshua Chepkesir. Photo/UNCP Athletics

By: Jacob Husson

The UNCP Braves’ Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams each performed well at the UAH Chargers Cross Country Invite on October 9.

The men finished 19th, while the women finished 13th.

Erman Jepleting led the women’s team with a time 18:07.34 in the 5K. This was just one second shy of the program record set by Kyndal Boykin in 2013.

Jackline Kosgei finished 45th with a personal best time of 18:24.46.

Valary Samoei came in 55th with a time of 18:37.87.

Chloe Phillips finished 243rd with a time of 22:02.66.

Alycia Richardson made her college debut finishing 274th.

“Most of our pre-race routines stay the same throughout the whole season, but we had to change this meet’s routine slightly since we had the long trek to Alabama,” Corey Pethers said in reference to women’s pre-race routines. “the women’s team was happy with our performance and it got us even more hyped for the conference on October 23,”

She told me they drove to the halfway point on Thursday and finished the drive Friday. After arriving, they headed to the track for a preview of the race.

On the men’s side, Joshua Chepkesir completed the 8K in 23:53.64, which was the fourth-fastest 8K time in program history en route to a third place finish.

Delsin Burkhart finished in 26:10.25 placing him 122nd.

Ean Ormsby finished 135th after finishing the race in 26:22.90.

Hunter Levy placed 152nd while Jack Phieffer finished the scoring by placing 163rd.

Alec Valle came in 172nd, while Lucas Nervo finished 209th.

James Wainana finished 226th in his collegiate debut.

Bryan Viera and Kevin Vazquez came in 241st and 279th respectively.

“My routine in every race is simple! I have a lot of experience when it comes to race day. So, my routine is just the normal… take a meal as usual, speak with my family and tell them about my preparation for the race,” Joshua Chepkesir said regarding his pre-race routine.

Chepkesir is a two-time Peach Belt Conference Runner of the Year.

He also goes over the game plan with his coach, so they are on the same page. Chepkesir will attempt to carry his Conference Runner of the Year honors into the Conference Carolinas.

With Chepkesir leading the way, the Men are ranked No. 10 in the United States Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) southeast region rankings.

The women’s team remains the only ranked Conference Carolinas team at no. 8.

The Braves are currently on a two-week hiatus before competing in the Conference Championships for Conference Carolinas on Oct. The meet will be held on Mount Olive’s campus. The men’s race is scheduled for 10 am, while the women’s race is slated for 11 a.m.

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