The El Paso Community College men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to the west coast last weekend and proved they can compete with any school in the nation.
The men finished fifth among 20 teams at the UC Riverside Highlander Invitational in Riverside, CA. last Saturday.
The 8-kilometer race was run at the Ag-Ops course.
The Tejanos finished with a team score of 136, which was the best among two-year colleges that competed.The highlight of the race was provided by EPCC’s Gideon Cheplak, who won the individual competition with a time of 24:24.5.
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EPCC freshman Gideon Cheplak took the individual title at the UCR Highlander Invitational in California last week.
The EPCC freshman from Ainabkoi, Kenya, said though the chilly weather wasn’t the best for running, the site of the race played a positive role.
“The conditions weren’t real good but I can say I really tried my best,” he said. “The competition was really tough but I come from an area that is almost at sea level and that’s why I think running at the California altitude really helped me. It’s more what I’m used to.”
The top four men’s teams were Cal Baptist with 51 points, Cal St. Fullerton (92), Long Beach St. (110) and UC Riverside (114).
Other EPCC runners who scored points were Elias Loriposia, who finished fourth with a time of 24:39.55, Dennis Kiptoo (10th, 24:48.61), Elvis Chelak (24th, 25:16.90) and David Ceballos (132nd, 26:56.63).
The EPCC women finished fourth among 22 schools in the 5K portion of the event. The Tejanas’ 135 points trailed only invitational champion Cal St. Fullerton and its 29 points, New Mexico St. (84) and San Diego (99).
Leading the way for El Paso Community College was Everlyn Kemboi, who finished in seventh place with a time of 17:18.93.
She was followed by Francisca Jebor (12th, 17:30.21), Faith Jemutai (18th, 17:43.87), Feliciana Kiptoo (50th, 18:20.75) and Dorothy Jemutai (87th, 19:02.89).
Both cross country teams are scheduled to compete in this Friday’s University of the Southwest Invitational in Hobbs, NM. It’ll be their final tune-up before the Region V & WJCAC Cross Country Championship in Ranger, TX. On Oct. 27.