FSU Women earns its fifth consecutive title while the men earn its first title
Courtesy of the CIAA
SALEM, VA – Fayetteville State University is the men’s and women’s cross country champions after claiming the men’s 8K title and the women’s 5K title at the CIAA Cross Country Championships held at Green Hill Park on Thursday, October 27. The Broncos won its fifth consecutive women’s title and its first men’s title while also completing the first 1-2-3 sweep in CIAA Men’s Cross Country Championship history.
Hillary Toroitich captured the men’s title in 24:54.0, narrowly outpacing his Fayetteville State teammate Derrick Kipchumba, who finished with a time of 24:55.7. Fellow Bronco Abel Mengich placed third to complete the first-ever 1-2-3 sweep at the Men’s CIAA Cross Country Championship.
In women’s cross country, the Broncos add another title after winning in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021. The cross country season was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. FSU claimed this year’s crown by placing four runners in the top 10. For the Broncos, Nia Gibson placed third, Repline Cheptoo fifth, Brenda Cheboi seventh, and Mercy Chemutai ninth.
During the awards ceremony, Toroitch was named CIAA Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year as voted by the CIAA cross country head coaches and sports information directors. Inez Turner of Fayetteville State was named CIAA Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year.
Shaw was the CIAA men’s cross country runner-up with 73 points and Virginia State finished third with 102 points. Lincoln (PA) was fourth with 123 points and in fifth place, Claflin (124) and Bowie State (124) tied. Virginia Union was seventh with 168 points followed by Elizabeth City State (199), Livingstone (207), Saint Augustine’s (210), and Johnson C. Smith (240).
In addition to four female runners in the top 10, Aaliyah Saunders placed 15th to give Fayetteville State 38 points and the championship.
Virginia State is the CIAA women’s cross country runner-up with 62 points. Shaw finished third with 63 points followed by Lincoln (PA) (119), St. Augustine’s (158), Winston-Salem State (168), Livingstone (181), Claflin (184), Bowie State (205), and Virginia Union (277).
The All-CIAA women’s team features the top 15 finishers, which were Shaw’s Blaha and Schillaci, Fayetteville State’s Gibson, Cheptoo, Cheboi, Chemutai, and Saunders, Virginia State’s Manuelene and Manuela Deigh, and Hyppolite, Madison McDonald of Claflin (10th), Zoey-Ann Wint of Elizabeth City State (11th), Dana Moreno of Shaw (12th), Sydney Mcdonald of Livingstone (13th), and Joyce Jepleting of St. Augustine’s (14th).
The All-CIAA men’s team consisted of the top 15 finishers. They were Toroitch, Kipchumba, and Mengich of Fayetteville State, Micah Kipruto of Virginia Union (fourth), Eric-Thomas Talley of Bowie State (fifth), Alex Kiprono of Shaw (sixth), Robert Edward Jr. of Saint Augustine’s (seventh), Matthew Kiptum of Shaw (eighth), Fayetteville State’s Kiptanui, Virginia State’s Jalen Brownlee (10th), Virginia union’s Derrick Chesire (11th), Lincoln (PA)’s Irvin Marable (12th) and Nathaniel Baker (13th), Lukas Dudziak of Shaw (14th), and Virginia State’s JaPrince Gaines (15th).