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MT XC Competes in First C-USA Championship

Blue Raiders Travel to North Texas Nov. 2

October 30, 2013 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee cross country teams will travel to Denton , Texas to run in the Conference USA Championship Nov. 2. The men's teams will run an 8K-race starting at 9 a.m. with the women's 5K-race to follow at 10 a.m.

The MT cross country teams will be the first team in school history to participate in a C-USA championship.

Both the men's and women's teams had a strong finish to the regular season two weeks ago at the UTC Front Runner Invitational in Chattanooga, Tenn. The men's team finished second behind host Chattanooga, and was led by the performance of Shadrack Matelong, who finished the 5K event in 15:01.63. Following his second-place finish was Eliud Rutto (15:08.37) and Silas Taiget (15:10.94), who finished third and fourth, respectively.

Alden Dixon placed 16th with a time of 15:36.28 and has consistently been the fourth runner for Middle Tennessee. Keith Davis (16:10.89) rounded out MT's five man team, placing 27th, his first finish in 2013.

The MT women's squad was led by Lucy Kapkiai, who had her best finish of 2013, completing the 2-mile course in 10:56.28 for second. Jackline Kiprono continues to be a strong number two runner for the Blue Raiders, finishing fourth with a time of 11:11.69.

Autumn Gipson (11:33.14, 8th), Julia Kitevski (11:48.35, 14th), Tressanique Hampton (11:52.93, 16th) and Rachel Islam (11:54.27, 17th) all finished under the six minute mile time, the first time in 2013.

Looking back through 2013, the men's and women's squads have had their opportunities to work on the timing of the 8K and 5K distance courses, respectively.

The men's 2013 slate has featured two 8K events, the Commodore Classic Sept. 14 and the Greater Louisville Classic Oct. 5. The Blue Raiders had their best team finish at the Commodore, placing eighth, and were led by the performance of Matelong. Matelong finished the course in 25:23.21 for seventh, followed by Rutto, who placed ninth with a time of 25:26.40.

Three weeks later, MT competed in the Louisville Classic, where Rutto took home MT's top spot, placing 21st with a time of 25:24.99. Matelong came in 31st with a time of 25:34.23. Taiget and Dixon rounded out the four runners for Middle Tennessee, placing 44th and 55th with times of 25:46.72 and 25:55.57, respectively.

The women's squad has had three practice runs at a 5K course, competing in the Belmont Invitational, Commodore Classic and Greater Louisville Classic. The Blue Raiders have seen much improvement from the Belmont Invitational, cutting nearly a minute or more off of everyone's 5K time.

Kapkiai has competed in only two of the three events, missing the Belmont Invite season opener. Her time of 17:49.53 is the best women's 5K time in 2013, finishing 13th at the Louisville Classic. Kiprono also had her best finish at Louisville, placing 36th with a time of 18:16.19.

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