Senior track and field star ready for fall campaign

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    Senior All-American track and field runner Festus Kigen will compete in his final cross country campaign this fall after a season on the bench.

    Kigen, who earned runner-up accolades at the 2008 Mountain West Conference Cross Country Championships, had a stellar 2010 track and field season. Overall, the Kenya native, who has qualified for the last two NCAA Cross Country Championships, will look to become only the second TCU male student-athlete to win a conference cross country crown this fall.

    During the 2010 indoor season, Kigen cruised to a sixth-place finish in the men’s 5,000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships, crossing the finish line with a personal-best and new school record time of 13:50.21. By placing sixth overall, Kigen became the first Horned Frog in TCU history to earn All-American accolades in the men’s 5,000 meters. He also posted the highest-finish in program history in the 5,000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Overall, Kigen simply crushed Glenn LeGros’ former school record of 14:10.17, which was set in 1992.

    Kigen also claimed first-place honors in the men’s 5,000 meters at the conference indoor championships with a time of 13:51.72. His time, which broke the previous meet record, was also an Albuquerque Convention Center record. By winning the event, Kigen captured the first Mountain West Conference title in the 5,000 meters in TCU history and the first conference 5,000-meter title since former Horned Frog great Kip Kangogo won Conference USA in 2005.

    The senior came back during the outdoor season to place second overall at the Texas Invitational in the men’s 1,500 meters with a personal-best time of 3:46.22. He also placed fifth at the MWC Outdoor Championships in the event, following a second-place finish at the Texas Relays. Kigen came into the preliminary round ranked in the top 30 in the West Region. He qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene in the men’s 5,000 meters, clocking a time of 14:10.23 to finish 12th overall in a highly competitive field that featured six of the nation’s top 20, including four of the NCAA’s top 5 at the NCAA West Preliminary Round. Kigen also posted a seasonal-best time of 13:52.06 in the 5,000, which is the second-fastest time ever posted in program history, at the Mt. SAC Relays.

    The Horned Frogs will open the 2010 season on Sept. 3 at the Bear Invitational in Waco.