Seven Miners earn honors at C-USA Championship

From+left+to+right%3A+Rodgers+Korir%2C+Kenneth+Talavera%2C+Gabriel+Armijo%2C+Caroline+Chepkosgei%2C+Ruth+Jerubet%2C+Mexwell+Kipkosgei%2C+and+Titus+Cheruiyot.

From left to right: Rodgers Korir, Kenneth Talavera, Gabriel Armijo, Caroline Chepkosgei, Ruth Jerubet, Mexwell Kipkosgei, and Titus Cheruiyot.

Danny Lopez, Staff Reporter

The Miners men and women’s cross-country teams both placed fifth Saturday, Oct. 30 at the 2021 Conference USA Championship at Frank Liske Park in North Carolina. Seven Miners also received All Conference USA honors.  

Eight men traveled to the C-USA Championship, including Gabriel Armijo, Titus Cheruiyot, Maxwell Kipkosgei, Rodgers Korir, Yusuf Mohamud, Juan Olmos, Michael Sims and Kenneth Talavera. Heading into the championship, the Miners were ranked number 11 in the Mountain Region. 

There were six women who traveled to the C-USA Championship, and they consisted of Carolyne Chepkosgei, Karoline Daland, Ruth Jerubet, Joan Kimaiyo, Jacquilyn Orozco, and Victoria Ovalles. 

“The team has prepared well by participating and doing well during the regular season meets that we took part in,” UTEP head coach Paul Ereng said in an interview prior to the C-USA Championship. 

The Miner men finished with 79 points in the 8K event, behind The University of Rice (71), The University of North Texas (66), The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (55) and Middle Tennessee University (54).  

The women tallied 151 points in the 6K race, behind The University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (125), Rice (78), Charlotte (64) and Middle Tennessee (39). 

Junior Rodgers Korir and freshman Ruth Jerubet earned All-C-USA first team honors, finishing on top for the Miners. Senior Carolyne Chepkosgei earned honors to the second team, while sophomore Kenneth Talavera, sophomore Titus Cheruiyot, freshman Maxwell Kipkosgei, and junior Gabriel Armijo were named third team honorees. 

Kipkosgei was also named as the C-USA Freshman of the Meet. 

Korir (24:09.5) finished in fourth place overall out of 85 competitors, while Jerubet (21:08.5) placed fifth out of 98 competitors. Charlotte’s graduate student Paul Arredondo won the men’s individual crown (23:43.5) while Rice’s sophomore Grace Forbes won the women’s individual title (20:24.0). 

Middle Tennessee University would sweep the team titles. 

Talavera (16th, 24;44.4), Cheruiyot (18th, 24:47.0), Kipkosgei (20th, 24:50.6), Armijo (21st, 24:55.8), freshman Juan Olmos (29th, 25:16.1), junior Yusuf Mohamud (33rd, personal-best 25:30.9) and junior Michael Sims (39th, 26:00.5) rounded out the finishers on the men’s side. 

Chepkosgei (10th, 21:33.1), Karoline Daland (22:21.3), Joan Kimaiyo (35th, personal-best 22:45.5), Valerie Ovalles (73rd, personal-best 24:40.6) and Jacquilyn Orozco (81st, 25:09.2) rounded out the women’s side. 

“I am proud of the way both UTEP teams competed today,” Ereng said in a Oct. 30 interview after the championship. “Both teams finished fifth. Rodgers Korir led the men by finishing fourth and Ruth Jerubet in fifth in the women race. We had seven students receive all-conference honors. Five with the men and two on the women’s side. Maxwell Kipkosgei was the conference freshman of the year, which we are very proud of him.” 

The Miners will be continuing their season at the NCAA Mountain Regionals on Nov. 12 in Provo, Utah.  

Results were provided with the help of UTEP Athletics.  

Danny Lopez is a staff reporter at the Prospector and may be reached at [email protected]