LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS) – University of Louisville men’s cross country freshman Ernest Kibet continued his mark as one of the program’s best freshman runners, recording a top-30 finish at the NCAA Southeast Regional at McAlpine Creek Park in Charlotte, N.C.
Two weeks ago, the Kenyan native became just the third freshman in program history to earn all-conference honors at the BIG EAST Championships with a fifth-place finish.
On Friday, he took 28th in the first 10K race of his collegiate career to lead the men’s team to a 10th-place finish. Kibet had the field’s fourth-fastest freshman mark with a time of 30:51.58, and his finish is the best for a freshman in school history, beating Cory Thorne’s freshman finish of 29th in 2005. With the showing, Kibet has placed inside the top 30 in all five races this year.
Following Kibet was freshman Japhet Kipkoech, who took 51st, followed by junior Mattias Wolter at No. 75, freshman Edwin Kibichiy at No. 76 and senior Gordon Dooley rounding out the scoring runners at No. 98.
The Cardinals’ women’s squad, paced by sophomore Michelle Molodynia’s 113th-place finish, took 33rd. Molodynia, who finished the 6K course in 22:35.75, completed the season as the Cardinals’ top finisher in all six races this season.
Juniors Cassie Martin (No. 147) and Maria Frigo (No. 165), sophomore Megan Klein (No. 208) and junior Paige Dooley (No. 214) rounded out the team’s five scoring runners.
The top two finishing teams at each of the nine regionals automatically qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Nov. 17 in Louisville, Ky. The remaining 13 at-large bids will be selected by the NCAA Division I Track & Field Subcommittee. At-large teams will be considered based on their regional finish as well as their regular-season results. Final selections will be announced the evening of Saturday, Nov. 10.
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MEN’S TEAM RESULTS
1. Virginia, 64; 2. Eastern Kentucky, 75; 3. North Carolina St., 102; 4. Virginia Tech, 150; 5. Duke, 201; 10. LOUISVILLE, 328
MEN’S INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
28. Ernest Kibet, 30:51.58; 51. Japhet Kipkoech, 31:18.53; 75. Mattias Wolter, 31:51.62; 76; Edwin Kibichiy, 31:52.42; 98. Gordon Dooley, 32:25.32; 148. Ryan Eaton, 33:25.55; 150. Evan Hibbs, 33:28.78
WOMEN’S TEAM RESULTS
1. Duke, 81; 2. William and Mary, 123; 3. North Carolina St., 147; 4. Kentucky, 173; 5. North Carolina, 195; 33. LOUISVILLE, 847