MTSU Sweep the Competition in Charlotte, Win Both Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Conference Titles.
By: Seth Tackett
MTN Sports Reporter
MTSU cross country squads found themselves racing for hardware on Saturday as they competed for the Conference USA titles in cross country.
The women came into the race having won the previous two conference titles and were favored to do so again.
The men, who last won the title during the 2019 season faced an uphill battle in a very competitive field where any team could have stepped up and took the title.
The women’s team took care of business with a point total of 39 and four different runners in the top ten, led by Eusila Chepkemei who finished third overall and was named Outstanding Senior of the Meet. The runners up, Charlotte had a point total of 64, a point difference of 25 between the first-place Blue Raiders and their closest competition.
“The women went in as a solid favorite to win and ran like it.” “It was nice being able to run our race and follow the pre-race game plan." Said Coach Keith Vroman.
The Men needed their best performance of the year to secure the title, and that’s exactly what they did.
"Men's team ran very smart and delivered their best results of the year, perfect timing.” Said Coach Vroman.
With previous losses earlier in the year to UTEP, and Charlotte being ranked sixth in the southeast region heading into the weekend, victory was not assured for the men’s team.
“Probably the strongest top five programs I've seen at the conference championships.” Said Coach Vroman.
However, with a great all-around team performance with five runners finishing in the top 15, led by Hillary Kimaiyo who finished eighth overall. The men won the title by a one point, scoring 54 points while Charlotte tallied 55 points.
The Blue Raiders now must prepare for NCAA Regionals that take place Huntsville, Alabama on Friday, November 12. The men’s team enter regionals as the fifth ranked team in the South Region while the women’s team enters as the ninth ranked team respectively.
Quotes used for this story come from the goblueraiders.com article about the Blue Raiders wins. https://goblueraiders.com/news/2021/10/30/mens-cross-country-and-track-field-blue-raiders-take-home-both-conference-usa-xc-titles.aspx.