Senior Kip Kangogo will compete in the Cross Country National Championships after qualifying Saturday by finishing fourth in the NCAA Cross Country South Central Regional Championships in Waco. Kangogo’s time of 30.34.60 led the men’s team to a seventh-place finish out of 23 teams.
The top two teams, Arkansas and Texas, qualified for nationals.
“I am happy to set an example for the team, which is very young, and be able to show them that they can go to nationals,” Kangogo said.
Kangogo said training is hard and qualifying for nationals makes the sacrificed time well worth it.
Head coach Patrick Cunniff said he is very optimistic about Kangogo’s potential at the National Championships.
“We are so excited about Kip qualifying and about his prospects to compete well at the national meet,” Cunniff said.
Although the men’s team did not qualify as a whole for nationals, Cunniff said he is pleased with its efforts Saturday.
“The results for the men’s side were what was expected,” Cunniff said. “Possibly even a little bit better.”
The women’s team came in eighth-place at the meet, with sophomore Cassie Hostick leading the team with a 29th-place finish. Arkansas and Baylor moved onto nationals on the women’s side.
“We were very disappointed with the results of the women’s side because we have a great team and the results did not show that,” Cunniff said.
Aside from Kangogo, no members of either team will be attending nationals.
Kangogo said he will continue to train hard and has great expectations for nationals, which will be in Terra Haute, Ind. on Nov. 21.
He will compete against runners from across the country and the three other South Central qualifiers; Wesley Keating, of Texas-Pan American; and Peter Kosgei and Joseph Boit, both of Arkansas.
“I want to run my best race of the season,” Kangogo said. “I want to be an all-American.”
For the time being, the men’s and women’s teams will rest until they set their sights on indoor and outdoor track, Cunniff said.