No. 17 Men's Cross Country Finish 7th at Bill Dellinger

Oct. 4, 2008

EUGENE, Ore. - The No. 17 UTEP men's cross country team took a seventh-place finish and the women finished ninth at the 2008 Bill Dellinger Invitational hosted by the University of Oregon on Saturday morning.

"We competed very well today considering the competition," head coach Paul Ereng said. "Our men went into today's race with only five runners and that hurt us a little bit. We need more runners to really make an impact against teams like the ones we ran against today."

Senior Japheth Ng'ojoy was the top finisher for the UTEP men for the fourth counsecutive meet coming in 12th overall (11th for team scores) with a time of 24.33. Nicodemus Ng'etich crossed the finish line two runners later at 24:36 to finish 14th (12th team).

Patrick Mutai completed the 8k race in 42nd place (41 team) with a time of 25:28 and was followed by Aggrey Chirchir at 25:32 for an overall 44th finish (43 team). A little over a minute later, Dominic Tanui crossed in 70th place (58 team) finishing in 26:20.

The Miner men scored 166 points, while the women combined for 236.

Happy Mary Bacia was the top finisher for the women for the first time this season, coming in 26th place and completing the 6k race in 21:39. Jepchirchir Kigen was the second Miner to cross the line in 34th place (33 team). Delia Cesar finished 79th in 24:20 (58 team) with Megan Chojnacki right behind her with a time of 24:21 for an 80th place (59 team). Kitria Stewart rounded up the UTEP women at the finish line in 24:49 in 82nd place (60 team).



"Japheth (Ng'ojoy) and Nicodemus (Ng'etich) ran a very good race, as did Happy Mary (Bacia) and Jepchirchir (Kigen)," Ereng added. " Aggrey Chirchir also had a good race. But today Dominic's (Tanui) back bothered him again, this is a problem he's had for a while and that did not do us any good. We've got to come back and get him healthy. We don't have enough people to fall back on when we have injuries like today and that really hurts us as a team."

Host school Oregon took the Bill Dellinger crown in both the women's and men's race as the Ducks look to remain atop national rankings.

The Miners will return to the field on Oct. 18 at Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, Ind., after Arizona State moved up the Arizona State Classic, originally schedule for Oct. 10, to today.

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