AIC Junior Leakey Kipkosgei, who hails from Kapsabet, Kenya, earned his third career All-American honor for cross country as he led the American International College men’s cross country team to a 19th-place finish at the NCAA Division II National Championship on Saturday, November 18, 2017, in Evansville, Indiana. Kipkosgei posted a time of 31:10.3 on the 10-kilometer course for an eighth-place finish, the best placement of his career at nationals after he placed 17th his freshman year and 14th his sophomore year.
Between cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track, Kipkosgei has already earned seven First Team All-American titles just a few months into his junior year. Kipkosgei’s eighth-place finish is also the fifth top-10 result at nationals for an AIC men’s cross country runner in program history. Additionally, AIC’s 19th-place result improves upon a 22nd-place finish a year ago, and is the third-best team showing in program history.
“During the summer and throughout the season, Leakey had made it clear that his first goal was to help the team improve our position from last year’s national championship position,” said AIC cross country coach Leo Mayo.
“His secondary and individual goal was to be in the top 10. I can say now, after assessing this season’s team and path to our 19th place finish and Leakey’s eighth-place finish, that Leakey has established himself as a leader of our team, and has been able to dedicate himself to his training. After talking with Leakey after the national championship this weekend, he indicated that he was hungrier now more than ever to help our team have the best finish ever going into next year’s national championship, and he personally wants to do everything possible to compete for an individual national title.”
“The national championship was a great experience,” Kipkosgei said. “I’m most excited because of our improvement as a team from last year. It also has been a great season for me because I have been able to increase my mileage and run faster in workouts. I was also happy to complete my goal of being top 10 at the national championship.”
-By Sarah Kirkpatrick
Featured Photo Credit: University of Southern Indiana Athletics