Jebet, Kiprotich win as Rift Valley dominate athletics

Emmanuel Masinde

Kabarak University 10km champion Vincent Kiprotich and East Africa Under 18 gold medallist Agnes Jebet were the winners of 8km and 6km junior boys and girls respectively during the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) held at the University of Eldoret (UoE) Grounds yesterday.

Rift Valley region dominated the championships with both girls and boys taking top six positions, to cut slots for East Africa games to be staged in Rwanda in August.

Jebet, (not world cross country champion Agnes Jebet Tirop), won the 6km junior women, leading fellow regional athletes to take all podium positions. She led compatriots like local cross-country runner Catherine Reline.

Coming from Kapkenda Girls in Elgeyo Marakwet County, Form One student Jebet cut the tape in 20:31.51, beating Catherine Reline to second. Reline, from Kapsait High School, who trains alongside world Under-20 5,000m champion Edward Zakayo, timed 21:00.41 as Kapseret ‘s Grace Loibach from Uasin Gishu completed the podium in 21:06.60.

“The course was challenging, difficult and also bushy but I was determined so I worked hard to win,” said Jebet, who won two gold medals in 1,500m and 5,000m during the East Africa Under 18 championships fortnight ago.

Vincent Kiprotich emerged the winner in men’s 8km race in 23:08.7, beating Gideon Rono to second in 23:24.8 as Kelvin Chelang’a completed the podium in 23:27.6.

Kiprotich, a Form Four student at Kimwogo Secondary, said his aim was to win the race before  joining senior ranks when he clars school.

“I came here with an aim of winning and this victory is because of my serious training. I knew I was going to compete at the national level, though it was challenging. Running with athletes from across the country was not a walk in the park,” said Kiprotich.

Rift Valley regions’ Robert Kiprop was fourth in 23.30.5, while Tapsagoi student  Shadrack Kiprotich came in fifth clocking 23.31.1, followed in by Michael Kibet timing 24.16.1 to close the top six finishers.

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