UTEP’s Risper Kimaiyo and Anthony Rotich collected this year’s Conference USA Cross Country Athletes of the Year honors, the league announced on Thursday.
This is the fourth time in C-USA history that one program has swept the honors. The Miners earned both awards in 2010, while TCU received them in 2001 and Tulane in 1988.
Kimaiyo earns the honor after capping off a stellar season in the Orange and Blue. The senior finished fifth at the NCAA Championships posting a personal-best of 19:41.0 in the women’s 6K race. Kimaiyo became the first woman in program history to receive four cross country All-American honors. She didn’t stop there as she claimed her third straight crown at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships with a time of 20:10.8. The Kenyan native also took her third C-USA title this season clocking in a personal-best of 16:42.8 in the 5k run.
Kimaiyo has earned multiple awards this season: C-USA first team, C-USA Outstanding Senior of the Meet, NCAA Mountain Athlete of the Year, C-USA All-Academic and four C-USA Athlete of the Week honors. The senior concluded the season with six top three performances, including a second place finish at the NCAA Pre-National meet.
On the men’s side, Rotich has dominated the course this season for the Miners. The All-American was the first freshman to cross the finish line at the NCAA Championships registering a time of 29:13.5. He finishing fourth overall and became the first Miner to meet this feat since 1983. The Kenyan native recorded a first place finish at the C-USA Championships leading the squad to a second place finish, which also earned him C-USA Freshman of the Meet honors.
Rotich posted six top three finishes this season, including a second place finish recorded at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships, where he clocked in a time of 29:55.9. Earlier in the season he claimed the crown at the NCAA Pre-National meet where he crossed the finish line with a personal-best of 23:01 in the 8K. The All-American concluded his first season for UTEP earning three C-USA Athlete of the Week honors.