ATHLETICS

Maria Soti Cross country: Valary Aiyabei, Nicholas Kimeli tops

Former Barcelona marathon champion Valary Jemeli Aiyabei and Africa Junior champion Nicholas Kimeli Kipkorir were the winners of the second edition of Maria Soti cross country championships held on Saturday at Maria Soti secondary school ground.

 Reigning East Africa secondary school games champion Monica Chirchir and upstart Noel Rotich shone in junior races.
Aiyabei defended her title she won last year as she focus to compete at this year’s Nagoya women marathon.
Running on her home-ground, Aiyabei clicked 34:29.1 to win the 10km women’s race, as she used the event as part of speed work.
“I run especially marathon but cross country is good for speed work and endurance. It’s also good for training ground instead of going for morning run,” said the 2015 Kass Marathon champion.
Aiyabei ran her own race, after stepping into the lead with just 4km and maintained the to the finish.
Delvine Meringor finished second timing 34:33.9 before former Africa Junior 1,500m silver medallist Eva Cherono completing the podium in 34:51:9.
Nicholas Kimeli Kipkorir returned to the championships with a win in senior race after he did the in last year’s as a junior runner.
Kimeli who will represent the country at the Commonwealth Games set for Gold Coast Australia said winning the race means a lot for this year as he plans to conquer the 5,000m race in the club games that kicks off on 4th to 15th April.
“I started well last year and did well. I hope this year will be the same by winning my first gold in senior cadre,” said Kimeli who opted out of Africa Cross country team to concentrate on commonwealth Games.
Monica Chirchir, the young runner in the National team for Africa Cross country championships led the 6km race from the start to win in 21:06.5.
She was followed by Naomi Cheptil  (21:14.6) and Caren Jebet in 21:48.8.
In 8km junior men, upstart Noel Rotich won the race in 24:21.6, Robert Kiprop in second place in 24:30.1 and Michael Bett was third in 24:39.2.
Selected results
10km senior women
1. Valary Aiyabei 34:29.1
2. Delvine Meringor 34:33.9
3. Eva Cherono 34:51.9
4. Susan Tanui 34:57.9
5. Juliet Chekwet 35:13.1
10km senior men
1. Nicholas Kimeli Kipkorir 30:18.7
2. Nichodemus Kiptum 30:31.0
3. Emmanuel Kiprono 30:33.7
4. David Kiochumba 30:36.4
5. Charles Kibet 30:38.8
6km junior women
1. Monica Chirchir 21:06.5
2. Naomi Cheptoo 21:14.6
3. Caren Jebet 21:48.8
4. Mercy Chebet 22:12.6
5. Mercy Chebichii 22:21.5
8km junior men
1. Noel Rotich 24:21.6
2. Robert Kiprop 24:30.1
3. Michael Bett 24:39.2
4. Edward Kibet 24:41.6
5. Enos Kales 24:49.2.
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