The Black and Gold sent both their men’s and women’s Cross Country teams to Augusta, Ga. on Nov. 3 to compete in the Peach Belt Conference Championships on the Redcliffe Plantation. While the women’s team finished just outside of a top-five finish, the men’s team finished in first place and captured the conference title for just the second time in program history.
The Braves were fueled to their finish on top of the final standings due to a pair of top two finishes by freshman Joshua Chepkesir and sophomore Silus Kipkoech.
The two native Africans from Edloret, Kenya finished in first and second place and were two of three Braves to finish in the top-six.
Chepkesir finished the 8K course in 24:22.3 en route to becoming the second UNCP freshman to bring home top honors in the conference championship.
Kipkoech, who was recently named PBC Runner of the Year for the second year in a row, was a mere 19 seconds behind with a time of 24:41.4 to finish as a close second.
Senior Logan Ward came in sixth place with a mark of 25:07.6, and redshirt senior Matthew Martin came across in 11th place with a time of 25:49.0.
All four runners were also recipients of all-conference honors.
Redshirt junior Ean Ormsby recorded a career-best time of 26:06.6 and finished in 16th place, just 1.6 seconds shy of 15th place, as well as receiving on the all-conference team honors.
Freshman Jarett Arabie came across in 35th place with a personal-best time of 27:02.7 and sophomore Holden Newman finished in 39th place with a time of 27:30.1, which was 47 seconds better than his previous career best in the 8K run.
For the women's team, freshman Skylar Moreno finished ninth with a personal-best mark of 19:01.6 to put the Black and Gold into sixth place at the conference championship and was able to pick up an all-conference notoriety as well.
Sophomore Riley Axe finished in 30th place with a time of 19:52.5 and sophomore Molly McCann came in 39th place with a time of 20:14.7.
Sophomores Corey Pethers, Shelby McMurray and Sam Badami finished in 51st, 61st and 63rd place to round out the scoring for the women’s team.