Freshman Joshua Chepkesir finished a 10K course in just over 31 minutes to secure a championship in the NCAA Southeast Regional. PN File Photo/UNCP Athletics
The UNCP cross-country team headed to the UNG Cross Country Course in Gainesville, Ga. Where Kenyan freshman Joshua Chepkesir finished the 10K course in just over 31 minutes and crossed the finish line just 0.27 seconds ahead of the rest of the 142 participants to secure the NCAA Southeast Region championship.
Chepkesir’s time of 31:09 is the third-fastest finish in the history of the UNCP men’s cross-country program, and the best time since former All-American and Rio Olympian Pardon Ndhlovu posted a time of 30:55 at the 2011 NCAA Southeast Region Championships in Charlotte.
He bacme the second freshman in as many years to win the region title, joining teammate and fellow countryman Silus Kipkoech who captured the title last season. With the finish, Chepkesir qualifies for the 2018 NCAA Division II National Championships on December 1 at Schenley Park in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Kipkoech came in sixth place with a time of 31:57.3, senior Logan Ward crossed in 17th place with a time of 32:43.8 and redshirt senior Matthew Martin (33:48.3) was able to finish with a 35th place outing.
Redshirt junior Ean Ormsby (34:03.3) and redshirt senior Jonathan Martin (34:08.01) were within five seconds of each other coming in at the 48th and 50th place. Freshman Jarett Arabie finished in 82nd place with a personal-best time of 35:28.8.
On the women’s team, freshman Skylar Moreno clocked in a personal-best time of 23:42.5 on the 6K course and led the Braves to a 16th place finish in the final team standings.
Sophomore Molly McCann came in at 75th with a time of 25:40.9, sophomore Riley Axe (25:40.9) placed in 85th and sophomore Corey Pethers finished in 101st place with a mark of 26:13.1.