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TAMUC – Sports

Rotich wins LSC XC Championship; Lion men fifth, women 15th

SAN ANGELO – Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s cross country star Nicodemus Rotich completed his clean sweep of the 2020 season, claiming the individual championship at the Lone Star Conference Cross Country Championships on Saturday morning. 

Rotich (Eldoret, Kenya) won the championship 8-kilometer race by nearly 14 seconds to give the Lions their first individual LSC cross country championship in 34 years. He becomes the Lions’ fourth-ever individual cross country conference champion, joining Samson Obwocha (1985 & 1986) and Agapius Amo (1984). 

For his performance this season, Rotich was named the LSC Freshman of the Year. The Lion men also qualified for the National Invitational meet in Lubbock on November 14. 

CLICK HERE for comments from coach Trenton Phelps after the races 

MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP RACE (8-Kilometer)

The Lions finished fifth in the team race with 143 points, narrowly edged out for fourth by Western New Mexico’s 140 points. West Texas A&M claimed the team title with 31 points. 

Rotich trailed Oklahoma Christian’s Colten Brown by eight seconds at the 2,000-meter split but kicked into gear in the race’s middle sector. By the next split at 3,400-meters, Rotich had blown past Brown and extended his lead to 16.5 seconds. At the final 8,000-meter mark, Rotich crossed the line at 24:51.0, finishing 13.51 seconds ahead of West Texas’ Innocent Murwanashyaka. Rotich also improved on his time on the same course two weeks ago by 42.5 seconds at the Blue & Gold Invite. 

Oscar Leyva (Sherman) placed 28th at 26:01.3, and Cooper Miller (Big Spring) placed 35th at 26:14.1. Timon Kemboi (Eldoret, Kenya) was 39th at 26:17.8, and Tanner Townsend (Royse City) wrapped up Lion scorers in 41st at 26:22.0. Marshall Pate (Kaufman) was 71st at 27:37.6, and Joshua Schutter (Sachse) finished in 105th place at 29:31.7. 

MEN’S TEAM SCORES

  1. West Texas A&M, 31
  2. Oklahoma Christian, 72
  3. UT Tyler, 111
  4. Western New Mexico, 140
  5. A&M-COMMERCE, 143
  6. Dallas Baptist, 155
  7. Cameron, 157
  8. Texas A&M International, 204
  9. Lubbock Christian, 205
  10. St. Edward’s, 219
  11. UT Permian Basin, 268
  12. Angelo State, 341
  13. Arkansas-Ft. Smith, 372
  14. Texas A&M-Kingsville, 373

WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP RACE (6-Kilometer)

Evelyn Brown (Paris) was the Lions’ top finisher in 71st place at 25:54.3 establishing a new personal best, followed closely by Yenifer Martinez (Irving – Nimitz) at 26:04.6 in 73rd. 

Brianda Rosales (Celina) placed 95th at 27:36.1, Kaitlyn King (Frisco – Wakeland) was 100th at 27:58.2, and Mallory Morgan (Katy) was 107th at 29:15.3. 

The Lions placed 15th in the team standings with 397 points. Dallas Baptist won the conference championship. 

WOMEN’S TEAM SCORES

  1. Dallas Baptist, 25
  2. West Texas A&M, 85
  3. St. Edward’s, 107
  4. Texas A&M International, 132
  5. Midwestern State, 156
  6. Western New Mexico, 159
  7. Lubbock Christian, 173
  8. Oklahoma Christian, 181
  9. UT Tyler, 217
  10. Arkansas-Ft. Smith, 275
  11. UT Permian Basin, 308
  12. Texas A&M-Kingsville, 324
  13. Cameron, 341
  14. Angelo State, 385
  15. A&M-COMMERCE, 357