TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Oct. 25) – The Florida A&M Lady Rattler Cross Country team is attempting to make history, both in the MEAC and at FAMU. The team has won the MEAC Cross Country Championship for the last four years. The record at both the MEAC and FAMU is four. By capturing a fifth, it would put the team in the “dynasty” conversation, as it’s performance has been spectacular over the championship time period.
The Lady Rattlers are led by junior distance runner, Judith Kibii. Kibii has been so dominating that she has been named MEAC women’s cross country athlete of the week five consecutive times this year. Kibii’s goal is to be the top medalist this year and set the stage for her teammates to send five across ahead of the member conference schools.
“It’s literally a game of numbers. As your runners cross the tape, you are mentally taking a note of how many runners from each school has passed. It can get quite tense as you await your third, fourth and fifth runners to cross the finish line,” said FAMU Director of Track and Field, Darlene Moore, Ph.D.
In 2012, the Lady Rattlers began the streak on a cold and windy course in Princess Ann, MD. Behind the lead of Simone Durden, the Lady Rattlers surprised the conference by winning both the men’s and women’s cross country championships. On the men’s side, Elias Chesire and his teammates had dominated all season and coach Wayne Angel sat back and watched them continue to dominate, unseating Norfolk State as the champions. For the Lady Rattlers, the surprise came to opponents as two freshmen pushed the Lady Rattlers across with the win.
Cynthia Chelelgo and Effiey Kosgei came aboard and offered the push the Lady Rattlers needed to bring home the gold. Kosgei and Chelelgo would be key ingredients in the Lady Rattlers streak as they were a part of the four consecutive MEAC championships.
This season, a mixture of veterans and one newcomer will vie for the title. Kibii will be joined by Fridah Limo, QuanDra Shanks, Emmax Kiplagat, Emmaculate Kiplagat, Caroline Kiplagat and Nicole Kvitkauskas in vying for the record fifth title.
The MEAC Cross Country Championship is Sat., Oct. 29 in Smyrna, Del. The event will be run at the Delaware State Outreach and Research Center at 9:45 a.m.