Sunday, February 5, 2023

Cross Country Has Impressive Showing
at the NCAA Southeast Regional Meet

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Joshua Chepkesir was named Conference Carolinas’ Runner of the Week three times this season. Image/Gabriel Blackwelder

By: Jacob Husson
Joshua Chepkesir covered the course in 30:23.1. Ean Ormsby set a new personal-best time of 32:43.3 which was good enough for 32nd place. Delsin Burkhart finished 50th with a time of 33:17.9. Hunter Levy and Jack Pheiffer each had their personal best runs placing 62nd and 67th respectively. Lucas Nervo placed 78th with a time of 34:27.7. Alec Valle came in 99th with a time of 35:11.8.

“I’m really excited and happy to be at the national’s stage… it feels good and I can’t wait to dance with the big boys there,” said Chepkesir.

Coach Peter Ormsby said Joshua’s conditioning has steadily improved this season. “His fitness has gotten better each week.”

This was thanks in part to Joshua Chepkesir’s second place finish in the 10K. The women finished 8th led by Erman Jepleting who finished in the top-25 in the 6K.

For the women, Jepleting ran the 6K in 22:27.5 placing 22nd. Valary Samoei came in 36th with a time of 23:06.3, while Jackline Kosgei captured 49th place. Kathryn Anderson placed 66th and Sam Badami ran the course in 24:36.5 placing 84th to round out the scoring for UNCP. This was a new personal best for her. Chloe Phillips placed 135th after crossing the finish line at 26:55.7.

Chepkesir earned his third all-region honor and Jepleting earned her second.

Kathryn Anderson has been dealing with a foot injury and that impacted her strategy for the race. As a result of mild injury, Kathryn seemed to reduce her pre-race routine down to her superstition. Despite having some strong performers, the coach did not seem overly enamored by the performance.

“Both finished where they were, nothing unexpected. The women soldiered through injuries. The men got complacent,” said Ormsby.

Despite having some strong performers, the coach did not seem overly enamored by the performance.

Speaking of the women fighting through injuries, it is appropriate to mention Kathyn Anderson. She had to battle through a suspected stress fracture during the race. She may not have placed at this meet, but given her circumstances, it was a strong performance.

Chepkesir will compete on November 20 in hopes of becoming a national champion.

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