This past Saturday on Oct. 19, the cross country team traveled to Texas A&M in College Station. There they competed in the Arturo Barrios Invitational. The men ended up placing 16th with their very own Kevin Kipkosgei grasping a top 20 spot. The women placed 14th with Briahna Gerlach also reaching a top 20 spot.
Kipkosgei received the Southland Athlete of the Week award for his performance in this meet. He was also the highest finishing Southland Conference participant at the meet. Kepkosgei has led the men in placing every meet this season. while this past weekend in College Station was his best placement yet.
“Kevin was injured last Spring and we brought him along slowly with the end goal being at the very least regionals.” assistant coach Jarvis Jalen said.
With Kevin being injured he was not expected to come out on top of the pack early on in the season. With the early success from Kevin it allowed him to gain confidence and help ACU rise in the rankings.
“We had an exceptionally good meet and we are extremely proud that our men beat all southland teams,” Jalen said. “Our women beat every southland team except for SFA.”
The ACU cross country team has been rising in the ranks consistently week after week. This has caused players like Gerlach and Kipkosgei to step up and become the team’s leaders at meets coming in the best placement in most of the meets for ACU. The recent success has allowed ACU to really prepare for later on by taking this pressure and showing the athletes how to work well together with a spotlight on them.
“Our weak points are not even physical ones. They are more about the mental game than anything else. If we can figure out the mental aspect we don’t have to worry about the physical aspect.” said, Coach Jalen.
The next meet will be in Conway, Arkansas at the Southland Conference Championship on Nov. 1. This will be ACU’s first Southland meet since the Naimadu Classic hosted by ACU at the very beginning of the season on Aug. 31.