One of the top cross country runners in the area happens to come from Long Island University. He competes for a college that overall cannot match up with some of the decent ones such as Central Connecticut, Monmouth, Robert Morris, Princeton, Albany, Marist, Fordham, Sacred Heart, and the list goes on.
The top runner for the LIU Blackbirds is Rogers Kipruto, a junior at the downtown Brooklyn College. In his almost three-year cross country career, he turned in some decent performances during his career. In a field of 101 athletes representing 12 colleges in the Northeast Conference, Kipruto clocked in 26:42.40 for fifth place and helped his team to a 11th place finish in the team standings.
After the Northeast Conference meet, he competed in the Regional meet at 10K.
Then came the IC4A championship race when he slipped to 67th place and a time of 26:11. The Blackbirds failed to score in a field of 17 scoring colleges and 154 athletes over a five-mile course, this one at Van Cortlandt Park in The Bronx.
Kipruto completed a successful cross country season at LIU and along with his teammates are headed to the indoor track season.
“I like running here (at Van Cortland Park) because to I get to meet a lot of people,” Kipruto said. “We train for cross country at Red Hook Park, and for indoor track at Pratt Institute college.”
Kipruto has certainly improved and lowered his time in three seasons on the team. However, a mishap occurred to him during the recent IC4A meet that caused him not to perform up to par.
In this recent meet, he fell during the first mile, got up, and completed the course.
“Somebody pushed me,” he said. “And I tried to control myself from falling down.”
Coaches Simon Hodnett (sprints) and Julie Sandiford (cross country) certainly helped him lower his times during his brief career.
“In college, we have to achieve our goals,” he went on. “The track (running) team is like a family to me. I live here (on campus).”
His best time for an 8K or a five-mile race is 25:18 in Albany when he was a college freshman. His specialties for the indoor season are the 3K and 5K events.