By Robert James
Sophomore Kip Kangogo, a transfer student from Lethbridge Community College in Canada, has won all three races he has run in as a member of the BYU cross country team.
Kangogo led the BYU men”s cross country team to a fourth-place finish at the 8k Griak Invitational Saturday Sept. 28 in Minneapolis, Minn.
Kangogo extended his individual win streak to three, beating out last year”s NCAA Cross Country Champion Boaz Cheboiywo, a senior from Eastern Michigan University.
“Everyone was cheering for me to get him,” Kangogo said. “So I got him.”
Cheboiywo was leading the pack for the first half of the race, but a little after the halfway point Kangogo began to make his move.
“I used my 1,500m kick to pass him,” Kangogo said.
After pulling past Cheboiywo, Kangogo never looked back and cruised across the finish line with a time of 23:38.
Cheboiywo finished second, but was nine seconds behind Kangogo with a time of 23:47.
BYU”s Lewis Jones also ran an impressive race, finishing 11th overall with a time of 24:44.
“Lewis ran a strong race,” Eyestone said. “He kept his eye on the chase pack and encouraged his teammates. He had an All-American type performance.”
Eyestone was pleased with his runners” performances and said there is still room for improvement.
“Our third, fourth, and fifth runners could have ran better,” Eyestone said. “If our top three through seven runners run better we can be one of the top four or five teams in the nation.”
Eyestone was able to run 12 runners in Saturday”s race, but will need to cut that number down to seven for the Oct. 19 Pre-National Meet in Terra Haute, IN.
“This race was a pretty good self-selection process,” Eyestone said. “I can only run my top seven guys in the championship portion of the season.”
On Saturday the top seven runners for the Cougars were Kangogo, Jones, junior Steve Barrus 25:03, sophomore Nathan Robison 25:09, sophomore Chad Durham 25:21, sophomore Matt Adams 25:24, and sophomore Bryan Lindsay 25:26.
“We”re running well,” Eyestone said. “Now we just need to put it together for Nationals.”
BYU scored 173 points, Weber State University was third with 166 points, Eastern Michigan University was second with 105 points, and the University of Oregon was first with 96 points.
The Cougar”s next race will be the Oct. 5 Grizzly Shoot Out in Missoula, Mont.