Cross Country – Runner represents TCU in championships

Senior Kip Kangogo placed 33rd in the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Monday.The event, which was held at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, featured 31 men’s and women’s teams.

Wisconsin senior Simon Bairu won the event, leading the Wisconsin team to victory with three runners registering in the top 10.

Northern Arizona junior Johanna Nillson won the women’s event with a time of 9:58.

Kangogo, who was awarded All-Region honors at the NCAA Cross Country South Central Regional Championships in Waco, was happy with the results.

“I felt like I ran my best,” Kangogo said.

Kangogo, TCU’s only runner in the event, competed against 253 male runners in a 10-kilometer run. He competed the course with a time of 30:15, missing the cutoff for All-American status by 2.8 seconds.

The competition was very strong, Kangogo said.

“You run against the best people in the nation,” Kangogo said. “I think it’s a good tradition of good competition.”

Cross country coach Patrick Cunniff said Kangogo’s performance at the meet reflects very highly on the TCU cross country program.

“It’s a sign that we’re capable of having one of the top competitors in the country,” Cunniff said. “Hopefully they will follow him to Nationals next year.”

The added competition is a significant part of the national meet’s atmosphere.

“The quality of the events adds a good bit of pressure,” Cunniff said. “The competition is all the best in the nation.”

Kangogo earned an automatic bid to the meet when he placed fourth out of 108 competitors at the South Central Regional Championships. The TCU men’s Cross Country team placed seventh out of 23 teams.

Kangogo will have about one week off before he starts practicing for indoor and outdoor track, which begins in January.

“I am really happy with how Kip did,” Cunniff said. “His performance was really solid, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do in track.