Cross country to begin season Friday

Junior Festus Kigen will lead the mens cross country team at the Baylor Twilight on Friday. Photo by Media Relations

Junior Festus Kigen will lead the men’s cross country team at the Baylor Twilight on Friday. Photo by Media Relations

The cross country team will kick off its season Friday as it competes in the Baylor Twilight Invitational in Waco.

The women will run a 4K at 6:30 p.m. and the men will be participating in a 6K run beginning at 7 p.m.

Coach Shawn Winget said the run is a good way to start the season and get the team ready for conference competition.

“It’s the season opener, and we just want to go out and compete,” Winget said. “This is a good little run that will hopefully get us ready for conference meets starting in November.”

Junior Festus Kigen, represented TCU at the NCAA Championships last season and will lead the men’s team in the outdoor events this year. Kigen led TCU in every meet last fall as an all-conference runner and placed 10th in the South Central Regional, which made him eligible for nationals.

“Going to nationals was a really good experience for me,” Kigen said. “To be able to go and compete with a bunch of other runners felt like a stepping stone for me.”

Kigen, a native of Kenya, said he enjoyed watching the track and field events in the Olympics and said participating in the Olympics one day would be a dream come true.

“To see guys my age break Olympic world records made me excited,” Kigen said. “Watching them made me think of one day doing something like that.”

For the women’s team, Winget said he is looking for another big season out of sophomore Tanja Ivandic. The Fort Worth native, originally from Bosnia, led TCU in all but one meet as a true freshman a year ago.

With a team full of young runners, Kigen said he expects a lot of improvement as a whole this season.

“This year we have a good chance of doing well,” Kigen said. “We have five sophomores that were on the team as freshmen last year. Hopefully, this time they’ll know a little more about what they’re doing and show improvement.”