And he’s not sure about that, “but
I hope so,” he said.
If he does return for the conference finals, Ngetichalmost
certainly will qualify for the West Regional and Nationals.
But as the
competition gets tougher, Ngetich acknowledged that repeating
his feats from last year—which also included winning the
West Regional—will not be automatic.
This is running,” said the Kenyan with a prototypical distance-runner’s
body. “There are no short-cuts in running.”
Ngetich transferred to HPU last spring from Central Methodist
College, where he won the National Association of Interscholastic
Athletes (NAIA) 5000 meters championship.
I was in really good shape coming in here,” Ngetich said. “I
had a good season.”
Ngetich’s Nationals place could have been better, he
said, but training at low altitude and the lack of competition
islands set him back. He added that he trained about half
as much as most top-cross country runners because he was
to avoid injuries during his first season running the 10-thousand-meter
The men’s team could have been better last year as well,
Ngetich said. But HPU’s number-three runner dropped
out of the West Regional with a hamstring injury. That was
to keep the Sea Warriors out of Nationals.
Last year we had a lot of good people,” Ngetich said.
With Abdersalam Naji, Chris Larson and Mikkel Klays graduated,
expected Ngetich to lead a talented but young team. That
will have to wait.
Still we have a few guys doing well, so it is not a problem,” Ngetich
said. “So far.”
New cross country coach Christian Friis has Harry Burkle
and Aaron Norton to lead the team until Ngetich returns.
Ngetich added that transfers Matt Steve and William
running really fast.”
They are doing the best they can,” Friis said. “Unfortunately
it does hurt us a lot.”
Friis was obviously disappointed when he heard his
top runner would not be available most of the season. “But that’s
what happens in sports, you can be on top of your game one
day, and the next day an injury can take you out.”
The positive is that Ngetich is not out for good.
In a way he has not even started.
I do not think he actually knows himself how good he can be,” Friis
I don’t know too much about his background, but I think
with a longer period of training he would be very good. Very
is an understatement.”
The sky may be the limit for Ngetich, but just
repeating what he did last year will be hard
“You have to be really good,” he said. “It’s going to