CU runner sets school record at NCAA championships

From Campbell University Athletics
Posted 11/22/21

Campbell's Athanas Kioko finished third in the nation at the 2021 NCAA Cross Country Championships held in Florida over the weekend.

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CU runner sets school record at NCAA championships

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Campbell's Athanas Kioko finished third in the nation at the 2021 NCAA Cross Country Championships held Saturday morning at Apalachee Regional Park. 

Kioko's finish in the 10K race marked the best ever for a CU runner at the NCAA Championships. Former Camel Amon Kemboi held the previous highest finish when he finished seventh in 2018.

A senior, Kioko remained with the lead pack throughout the race, taking the lead at multiple splits on the course throughout the day.

At the 9K split, Kioko pushed ahead and remained in the lead up to the final stretch before being overtaken by eventual champion Conner Mantz of BYU.

Kioko's time of 28 minutes, 40.9 seconds set a school record, outpacing Lawrence Kipkoech's 28:45.3 set at the 2017 NCAA Southeast Regionals.

During this year's NCAA Southeast Regionals, Kioko enjoyed a first-place finish, completing the 10K course in 28:58.5 while marking the fastest time out of any of the nine regional events occurring throughout the country that day.

He earned All-America honors for both the second time in his cross country career and in the calendar year after placing third in the 5000m at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in June.

Mantz (28:33.1), the reigning NCAA individual champion, along with Wesley Kiptoo (28:38.7) of Iowa State finished ahead of Kioko. Northern Arizona took home the team title for the second straight year with a score of 92. Iowa State took second overall as a team with 137 points followed by Oklahoma State in third with 186 points.

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