Tulane’s Rotich wins men’s title at The American Cross Country Championships

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PHILADELPHIA — Junior Emmanuel Rotich proved he is the league’s top male runner, Saturday morning at Belmont Plateau in Philadelphia, taking first place in the men’s 8k race at the 2017 American Athletic Conference Championships. Rotich finished in 24:58.6, nearly eight seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, to claim his first conference championship.

With the win, Rotich remains undefeated this season, having won his previous three meets before The American Championships. Earlier this season, Rotich won the Temple Invitational, hosted at the same course as this year’s conference championships, with a time of 26:00.6.

Rotich’s spectacular performance led the Green Wave men’s team to a seventh-place finish, as senior Moses Aloiloi and junior Joshua Cheruyot finished in 30th (26:30.9) and 37th (26:39.6) place, respectively. Freshman Andrew Kipkemboi, sophomore Carlos Zervigon and senior Stephen Medlin chipped in with a great display of pack-running, claiming 62nd (27:39.3), 63rd (27:43.3) and 64th (27:44.2) place, respectively.

On the women’s side, senior Lauren Bartels took fifth (21:54.1) in the women’s 6k to earn a personal best finish at The American Championships and led the Green Wave women to a fifth-place finish, their top team finish since joining the conference. Senior Emma Newton and redshirt sophomore Mckenzie Melius finished 19th (22:13.5) and 23rd (22:30.6), respectively, to boost Tulane to its top-five finish.

“Our team put together the best race they’ve had all year,” associate head coach Michael Nussa said. “I’m really proud of the way Lauren competed today. She committed to the lead pack from the beginning of the race, fought hard for 6k and was rewarded with her best conference finish ever. Mckenzie stepped up in a big way for our team today and led the charge for us to get out better than we ever have in the first 1000 meters. She’s been making noticeable progress every single week this fall and that hard work paid off today.”

Freshman Bridgid Selfors, sophomore Sarah Cella, senior Jennifer LaMori, sophomore Mary Catherine Stovall, sophomore Paige Fatland and sophomore Aislinn Roberts all finished in the top-100, putting Tulane in good scoring position to earn its fifth-place team finish.

“We have been working all year long on getting into a good position early and we did a good job of that today,” Nussa said. “I’m looking forward to us building on this race as we head to the South Central Regional Championship in two weeks.”

The Green Wave next compete at the NCAA South Central Regional Championship, Nov. 10 in College Station, Texas.

Fans can follow along for updates and news on Twitter (@GreenWaveXCTF) or find the team on Facebook. Follow Tulane Athletics on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and @TulaneAthletics on Snapchat.

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