Oct. 1, 2009
EL PASO – The UTEP cross country teams are headed to Eugene, Ore., to compete in the distinguished fourth annual Bill Dellinger Invitational hosted by the University of Oregon at the Springfield Country Club on Friday afternoon.
The UTEP men will join an elite group on the field including five nationally ranked teams led by top-ranked Oregon. No.8 Portland, No.9 Alabama, No. 12 Brigham Young and No. 18 Cal Poly will set the competition for Colorado State, San Francisco, Villanova and Weber State in the men’s 8K scheduled for a 4:15 p.m. start.
Senior Nicodemus Ng’etich will be one of over a handful All-Americans competing on Friday and nine of the top 20 runners from last year’s meet. Ng’etich finished 14th at the 2008 meet, while the Miners combined for 166 points for seventh. Despite losing cross country All-Americans Japheth Ng’ojoy and Patrick Mutai to eligibility this year, the UTEP men are heavily reinforced with talent like newcomers Robert Menjo, Justice Chirchir, Felix Maritim and Elkana Rotich.
The women, slated for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff, features No. 2 Oregon, No. 5 Villanova and No. 14 Baylor as well as Colorado State, Hawaii, Oregon State, Portland, San Francisco and Weber State in the 5K race. The Miners are led by freshman Risper Kimaiyo and Kathya Garcia. Kimaiyo, who has won all three meets competed in this season, will have a task at hand as Oregon’s Alexandra Kosinski returns to defend her meet title.
The by-invitation-only event boasts one of the strongest fields in terms of tradition ever. Between them, Oregon, Villanova and UTEP have combined for 27 NCAA cross country championships, 18 men’s and nine women’s. From 1966 to 1981, Oregon, Villanova and UTEP accounted for 15 men’s titles over the course of 16 NCAA Championships.
Results will be available here at the conclusion of each race.