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HPU runner - former NAIA All-American

by Chris Alcantara, associate editor

Not only is it not his favorite sport, it’s his first year even competing in cross country, but try telling that to the competition. First-year Sea Warrior William Ngetich has dusted opponents this season, carrying HPU to four team victories so far.


Originally from Kenya, Ngetich, who has attended Central Methodist University in Missouri, decided to enroll at HPU with a friend who planned to play volleyball here. The friend never made it. She wound up making an Olympic squad and opted to hold off on college. Lucky for HPU, Ngetich came anyway, as he has run away with four individual titles this season on the cross country course. Once Ngetich showed his impressive 5,000 meter time to former Head Coach Vien Schwinn, HPU invited him into the program.

Although, many successful runners have certain rituals or diets leading up to a race, Ngetich claims he does nothing special the night before a meet.

“ I just train with the team the week leading up to the race and try to relax the night before,” said Ngetich.

While at Central Methodist, Ngetich earned All-American status in his first love, track and field, after winning the 5,000 meter race at the NAIA Nationals.

“ My favorite events are the 800 and the 1500 though,” said Ngetich. “I’m running cross country because it’s the best way to stay in shape for track season.”

Since HPU doesn’t have a track team, Ngetich plans to enter the UH-Manoa open invitational events as an individual competitor.

Success on the track in Ngetich’s family doesn’t stop with, nor did it begin with William. Ngetich’s uncle won a Bronze medal in the 800 meter for Kenya in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Ngetich’s younger brother, currently in high school, is clocking times on the track faster than most high-ranked NCAA runners, and he is already being offered professional contracts.

Kenyan runners have a storied success in distance running, but Ngetich doesn’t read much into the idea that they are born with the ability or have special training methods.

“ Kenyans train just like anyone else,” said Ngetich. “We were always just told growing up to train hard and win easy.”

With so many different ethnicities co-existing on the HPU cross country team, one might think it would create barriers, but according to Ngetich, the diversity helps the chemistry. He says that since they all came from such different places, they know what it’s like to be abroad and to have to get along with people. Ngetich also says it is interesting to see all of the different training disciplines and styles of preparation.

“ My teammates from places like Denmark and Morrocco like to train and run a lot more mileage per week,” said Ngetich. “I don’t really like to train all that much. I would like to do as little as possible, so I have a lot left for the actual race.”

Look for Ngetich and the rest of the Sea Warrior squad to come away with another big victory as they travel to Pomona, Calif. to compete NCAA II West Regionals Nov. 8, in hopes of a berth at the national championships in North Carolina Nov. 22.


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