Florida A&M’s women’s cross-country team will not be competing next month at a regional championship because of injuries.
Head women’s coach Darlene Moore said Tuesday that her runners would sit out the National Collegiate Athletic Association Regional Championships to recuperate.
Both the men’s and women’s cross-country teams dominated last weekends Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships in Maryland. The woman claimed three top-10 finishes there.
Moore said she wants her athletes to be in top shape for the indoor track season, which begins in November. But Moore was pleased with her team’s final performance in the conference meet.
“It was unexpected how everyone came after us, but I expected my team to win,” said Moore, who has been recognized twice as an outstanding cross-country coach in the MEAC. “Winning back to back feels good. It lets me know that we have a cross-country program where we produce year in and year out.”
Effiey Kosgei, a sophomore runner from Eldoret, Kenya, missed first place by eight-tenths of a second, finishing in 18 minutes, 10.8 seconds. She said she likes the motto, “We always strive for the best.”
“If you try something once and repeat it the next time, that is a perfection that you’re good,” Kosgei said.
Also, four members of the team made the MEAC Commissioner’s All-Academic team: Kosgei, seniors Chandelic Jackson and Zenia George and junior Ciera Williams.
The U.S. Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association ranked the men’s team ninth in the South Region of its latest rankings. The men captured the top four spots at the conference meet.
Men’s head coach Wayne Angel was honored as the MEAC Outstanding Cross-Country Coach for the second consecutive year as well. He said the championship was more of a workout than anything else. He said the team is focused on the next big challenge.
“Our mission was to go there and not so much win but to dominate, and getting one, two, three, four, that’s domination,” Angel said. “Our preparation wasn’t for the MEAC. It was for the NCAA Regional (Championships).”
The regional meet is Nov. 15 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The men’s team is working even harder to be the best in the region.
“It’s not a matter of coming back,” Angel said. “It’s a matter of continuing forward.”
Angel said he was proud to receive the award, and he praised the athletes for their efforts.
Elias Chesire, a sophomore from Eldoret, Kenya, and team captain, placed first in the conference meet with a time of 25.04.00. After his performance, he was named Athlete of the Week again by the USTFCCCA.
He said the honor gives him motivation to run harder.
“Winning felt good,” Chesire said. “It felt good to return with the title.”
Both the men and women’s teams are eager for the track season. The head coaches said they hoped to complete the “trifecta” by winning all three championships: cross-country and indoor and outdoor track.