Chemaoi Fourth, Zamzam 13th at WKU

Freshman Chemaoi has second Top 5 finish in as many meets

September 15, 2007 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Freshman Festus Chemaoi placed fourth and sophomore Zamzam Sangau finished 13th, leading Middle Tennessee's cross country teams Saturday at the 26th Annual Paul Turner WKU Old Timers Classic at Kereiakes Park in Bowling Green, Ky.

Chemaoi had his second terrific race of the year after placing second two weeks ago at the Belmont Opener. The Ainabkoi, Kenya, native finished the five-mile course in 25:27.91, the second best time run by a Blue Raider on the Kereaikes Park course since Geoffrey Lagat finished in 25:26.47 in the same meet in 2001. Lagat also posted a time of 25:14.23 the same year in winning the Sun Belt Championships.

Chemaoi led a strong contingent for the Blue Raider men, who placed five runners in the Top 43. Freshman Julius Kirui finished 18th in 26:25.27, sophomore William Songock was 20th in 26:26.15, freshman Isaac Biwott placed 27th in 26:53.24 and sophomore Philip Benavides was 43rd in 28:03.71.

Freshman Adam Cunningham placed 54th in 28:28.91 and senior Matthew Young was 75th in 29:35.11 to round out the seven scorers for Middle Tennessee. Junior Luke Pfleger (31:03.40) rounded out the men's runners.

Zamzam has now finished in the Top 15 in all three meets this season after placing 13th in a time of 18:17.31 on the 5K course. The sophomore was 12th at the Belmont Opener and fourth last week at the UTC Powerade Invitational.

Senior Marjorie Gombert also had her best race of the year, finishing 16th in 18:31.73. Junior Ashley Comstock placed 34th in 19:27.93, freshman Marla Bailey was 36th in 19:43.27 and junior Tiffany Sawyer finished 39th in 19:52.35.

Sophomore Kaitlyn Hammond placed 46th in 20:41.06 and sophomore Ashleigh Thaler was 47th in 20:48.08 to round out Middle Tennessee's seven scorers. Senior Catherine Chester (21:35.77), freshman Jennifer Poland (21:56.14) and freshman Sarah Nambawa (22:18.10) were the final three runners for the women.

"The Top 5 men really did a great job and Zamzam had another good race," head coach Dean Hayes said. "Festus is really tough and Julius ran very well. Marjorie also ran well and probably had her best race this season.

"It was good to get a look at the course and see how it will run for the Sun Belt [Championships] in six weeks."

Both teams take next week off before running in the Greater Louisville Classic on September 29 in Louisville, Ky.

13. Zamzam Sangau, 18:17.31
16. Marjorie Gombert, 18:31.73
34. Ashley Comstock, 19:27.93
36. Marla Bailey, 19:43.27
39. Tiffany Sawyer, 19:52.35
46. Kaitlyn Hammond, 20:41.06
47. Ashleigh Thaler, 20:48.08
73. Catherine Chester, 21:35.77
78. Jennifer Poland, 21:56.14
82. Sarah Nambawa, 22:18.10

MEN - 5 miles
4. Festus Chemaoi, 25:27.91
18. Julius Kirui, 26:25.27
20. William Songock, 26:26.15
27. Isaac Biwott, 26:53.24
43. Philip Benavides, 28:03.71
54. Adam Cunningham, 28:28.91
75. Matthew Young, 29:35.11
102. Luke Pfleger, 31:03.40

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