Kipchirchir nation’s top freshman with 27th-place finish at nationals

WKU freshman Shadrack Kipchirchir finished 27th nationally at Monday’s 2010 Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. He was the top freshman on the men’s side in the nation.

Sam Osborne

Shadrack Kipchirchir has been impressive for the WKU cross country team throughout the 2010 season, but the freshman saved his best for last in Monday’s 2010 Cross Country Championships at Indiana State University in Terra Haute, Ind.

Kipchirchir finished 27th in the 10k race, earning USTFCCCA all-America honors. Kipchirchir navigated the course in 30:20.5. The top 40 finishers are honored with all-American accolades.

“I’m very proud,” Kipchirchir said of his of his performance. “I was very nervous before I started the race, and I’m just so happy with how I did.”

Kipchirchir is the first Topper to earn all-American honors in his freshman campaign and was the first WKU runner to earn the distinction since Eddie O’Carroll did in 1992.

He was the highest-finishing freshman in the nation and posted the best finish of any runner from a Kentucky university.

Head cross country coach Erik Jenkins said the run was “outstanding,” especially considering the competition.

“I was very proud of his performance and very humbled watching a true freshman compete the way he did,” Jenkins said.

Kipchirchir’s performance made him the second All-American in two years for WKU. Janet Jesang earned the distinction last season.

Junior Marion Kandie finished 70th in the women’s 6k race with a time of 21:08.0.

“Today was a another step in a positive direction for our program,” Jenkins said.

With the cross country season officially over, Jenkins said the team will first enjoy their success and then move on to the indoor track season.

“We have no expectations except to continue to be successful and continue to develop,” Jenkins said. “We’re going to move our concentration to the indoor season here soon, but for now we’re just going to enjoy the moment.”