Koech and Chirchir Earn WAC Athlete of the Week Honors

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Texas Border Business

EDINBURG – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) cross country teams learned on Tuesday that sophomores Dorcas Koech and Abraham Chirchir are the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Athletes of the Week.

The reigning WAC Freshman of the Year, this is Chirchir’s fourth-career weekly award and second of the season.

Koech shattered the program record in the 5K at the 31st Annual Chile Pepper Festival on Saturday. Running on the same course that UTRGV will race on for the NCAA South Central Regional in November, Koech finished in a time of 17:10.7, the best in the WAC this season and 23.3 seconds better than the previous program record, set by 2019 Hall of Fame Inductee Elizabeth Ortega-Hilpert in 1995 (17:34.0). Koech finished in 19th out of 267 competitors. Her performance helped UTRGV move up two spots to No. 12 in this week’s USTFCCCA South Central Region rankings.

Chirchir recorded the fastest 8K in the WAC this season, finishing in a time of 24:09.3, the fourth-fastest time in program history and the second-fastest of his career. Chirchir placed 11th out of 304 competitors.

UTRGV is back in action on Oct. 19 at Texas A&M’s Arturo Barrio Invitational. The men compete in an 8K at 9 a.m. while the women compete in a 6K at 9:45. This meet will count toward the South Texas Showdown, presented by Navy Army Community Credit Union, as Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will be competing as well.

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