Orange Beach, AL – In one of the strongest team performances in NJCAA Men’s Half Marathon National Championship history, El Paso (TX) scored a meet-low nine points to claim the title at the Orange Beach Sportsplex on Saturday. The title is the first in program history.
El Paso took home the team and individual titles after freshman Elias Loriposia edged freshman teammate Dennis Kiptoo by just three seconds with a time of 1:09:10. El Paso’s Gideon Cheplak placed sixth overall with a time of 1:10:10 to round out the team scoring, the third-lowest team score in event history.
Iowa Central placed second overall with 15 points followed by South Plains (TX), Ranger (TX), and Vincennes). Iowa Central placed three runners inside the top seven, led by sophomore Ezekiel Kipchirchir.
- While the team title is the first for El Paso, Loriposia’s individual title is also a program first.
- Loriposia, Kiptoo, and Cheplak all placed in the top-10 of the NJCAA DI Men’s Cross Country National Championship recently held on Nov. 10.
- The top five finishers on Saturday were separated by just 49 seconds in one of the most competitive finishes in event history. The 2014 event saw the top-four finishes complete the race in a span of just nine seconds.
- Iowa Central was paced by Kipchirchir’s third-place showing followed by teammate Inncoent Murwanashyaka’s fifth-place finish. Awet Yohannes’ seventh-place finish rounded out the scoring for the second-place Tritons.
- South Plains (TX) sophomore Filmon Beyene boasted a fourth-place finish on Saturday to lead the Texans to a third-place team finish.
- Troy Wiles led Ranger to its fourth-place finish with a time of 1:11:50, good enough for eighth overall.
- 55 total student-athletes competed in an ideal sunny and 60 degree atmosphere on Saturday while 10 teams scored in the event.
- The El Paso men joined the women’s side to sweep the team national titles at the event on Saturday.