UTEP Men, Rice Women Capture Conference USA Cross Country Team Championships
Men's 8k Results
Men's 8k Results
Women's 8k Results
Women's 8k Results
Lake Buena Vista, Fla. -- A pair of Conference USA newcomers captured the 2005 Cross Country Championships as UTEP won the men's team race and Rice won the women's team race on Saturday at the races hosted by UCF at the DISNEY WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS® Complex. UTEP freshman Patrick Mutai won the men's 8K individual race, while UAB's Elizabeth Ambrus secured the women's 5K race with a strong final push to the finish line.
The 10th-ranked Miners were led by Mutai, a three-time C-USA Athlete of the Week honoree during the season, as he broke the 8K course record at the complex with a winning time of 23:35.26. Mutai led a pack of five UTEP runners, who all finished in the Top 10 to break the C-USA men's scoring mark with 23 points.
Mutai was joined on the All-Conference USA first team by three teammates and second-place finisher Marcel Hewamudalige of Rice (23:37.27). Japheth Ng'ojoy (23:41.08), Stephen Samoei (23:42.90) and Mircea Bogdon (24:23.18) finished third through fifth for the Miners. Rice took second in the men's team standings with 54 points. Tulsa was a close third with 58 points.
The women's individual race along with the team race were much closer as Ambrus caught Rice's Kate Gorry in the final 100 meters to earn the top spot as she set a personal best in 17:02.95. Gorry finished just over a second behind in 17:04.17, but helped lead the 24th-ranked Owls to the team title with 46 points. UAB was second with 57 points and SMU placed third with 86 points.
A pair of Rice teammates joined Gorry in the Top Five as sophomores Callie Wells took third (17:14.47) and Marissa Daniels placed fifth overall (17:22.30). SMU's Rachael Forish also earned All-C-USA first team honors with a fourth-place finish in 17:18.32.
Mutai along with UAB's Jakia Williams were named C-USA Male and Female Freshman of the Year, respectively, for being the top rookie finishers in the field. Williams, who is the second straight Blazer to earn Freshman of the Year honors, placed 13th overall and earned All-C-USA third-team honors with a time of 18:02.11.
Both winning coaches, UTEP's Paul Ereng and Rice's Jim Bevan, were named the 2005 C-USA Male and Female Coaches of the Year, respectively, in a vote taken by the league coaches following the race.
The Blazers placed four athletes on the all-conference team as the squad posted its highest finish ever at the championship. Sophomore Elizabeth Hilligoss, last year's Freshman of the Year, took 10th in this year's race to secure second-team All-C-USA honors.
Joining Hilligoss on the women's second team were Memphis junior Daniel Riendeau (6th, 17:30.64), SMU junior Jessica Jackson (7th, 17:39.44), UTEP senior Fatimoh Muhammed (8th, 17:42.73) and Tulsa junior Lise Olivier (9th, 17:50.79).
Houston senior Sesar Figuero, the lone returning All-C-USA performer in the race from 2004, led the men's second team with a sixth-place finish in 24:28.14. Figueroa was joined by Rice sophomore Charles Hampton (7th, 24:33.02), Tulsa sophomore Brett Turowski (8th, 24:50.40), Tulsa sophomore Edwin Henshaw (9th, 24:58.70) and UTEP junior Joe Munoz (10th, 25:01.10).
The women's All-C-USA third team members included: Tulsa sophomore Breanna Chipney (11th, 17:57.55), East Carolina senior Jessica Collins (12th, 17:58.70), UAB's Williams, Southern Miss senior Naomi Kiprotich (14th, 18:04.57) and UAB sophomore Whitney Mays (15th, 18:04.92).
The men's All-C-USA third team members included: Tulsa sophomore Joel Stansloski (11th, 25:05.95), Rice senior David Axel (12th, 25:07.73), UCF freshman Chris Mullaney broke a school record to finish 13th in 25:12.66, Tulsa junior Andrew Beard (14th, 25:15.44) and Freshman Rice Colby Keithan (15th, 25:16.41).
-- Results Follow --
Men's Team Results
1. UTEP (23) 2. Rice (54) 3. Tulsa (58) 4. UCF (115) 5. Houston (152) 6. Marshall (151) 7. East Carolina (163) 8. Memphis (252)
Women's Team Results
1. Rice (46) 2. UAB (57) 3. SMU (86) 4. Tulsa (101) 5. SMU (145) 6. Memphis (152) 7. UTEP (181) 8. East Carolina (209) 9. UCF (227) 10. Houston (280) 11. Marshall (284)
2005 Conference USA Cross Country Awards