The El Paso Community College men and women’s half marathon teams triumphed at the National Junior College Athletic Association Championships (NJCAA) held in Gulf Shores, Alabama, on Nov. 17.
“It is very difficult to win Men and Women half marathon titles, the team had really stood out and brought the college some positive recognition.” Athletic Director, Felix Hinojosa says proudly about Tejanos Men and Women Cross Country Team.
COURTESY EPCC MARKETING
(L-R) Head Coach, Felix Hinojosa; Assistant, Miguel Bonilla; National Champion Elias Loriposia; Elvis Chelak; Dennis Kiptoo; Gideon Cheplak; David Ceballos, Assistant, Robert Menjo.
The men's Cross Country team was led by the race’s individual champion, Tejano, Elias Loriposia. Loriposia went on to win the race with a time of 1 hour, 09 minutes and 10 seconds.
The Tejanos’ win is the first national team win for the El Paso Community College men in the 13.1-mile race.
Elias’ win earned him All-American honors. All-American honors also went to Dennis Kiptoo (2) and Gideon Cheplak (6).
“Elias is a very tough runner, although he was hard on himself for not performing well a week ago. Elias had proved himself this coming week when winning a National Championship title.” Says Coach Hinojosa.
“I know that this Marathon was going to be tough and it was going to be very competitive, but when I won the title I was so proud of myself.
"Running is something, you can’t run and just expect to be a national champion it is going to take time and a lot of practice, winning takes time.” National Championship Winner, Elias Loriposia says about his title.
Iowa Central Community College finished second in the men’s division.Leading the Tejanas to their fifth half marathon national championship, the most by any college, was Everlyn Kemboi (1h: 21m: 40s) finishing in second place.
This strong finish comes on the heels of Kemboi’s national championship in the National Junior College Athletic Association Cross County event on November 10. Along with Kemboi, Francisca Jebor (5) and Faith Jemutai (6) received All-American honors.
Iowa Central Community College finished second in the women’s cross country division. After this successful Cross Country season, EPCC will be hosting the next National Junior College Athletic Association Half Marathon Championship on Nov. 23, 2019.