Butler men take first in college division at OSU Jamboree

Butler men take first in college division at OSU Jamboree

STILLWATER, Okla. - For the second time in two events this season, the Butler men's cross country team took home first place, this time winning the 8K college division at the Oklahoma State Cowboy Jamboree on Saturday.

With four runners finishing in the top 15, Butler scored 71 points and beat out Oklahoma Christian by 29 points to win the meet. The Grizzlies, ranked fifth in this week's NJCAA Division I poll, competed against 21 teams with most of the squads being at the four-year level.

Leading the charge for the Grizzlies was freshman Eliud Koech, who passed several runners near the finish line for a second-place finish. Koech finished the 8K course in a time of 26:28.2. Freshman Emmanuel Biwott and Boniface Kiptoo took eighth and ninth, respectively. Biwott crossed the line at 27:10.9, just less than seven seconds ahead of Kiptoo (27:17.8).

Sophomore Jacob Hesse was 13th overall as Butler's fourth runner at 27:36.0. Also contributing to the point total was freshman Juan Alvarez, who placed 39th with a time of 28:23.1.

"We talked in our team meeting about fighting to the finish and grabbing every possible point," said Butler head cross country coach Ryan Turner. "To see Eliud and the rest of our men compete against some very quality runners was a fantastic springboard to the rest of the season."

Other Butler runners competing were Joel Santiago (28:37.4), Hillary Kiptoo (29:55.8), Derrick Reid (32:35.7) and Jacob Jackson (32:47.7).

"Our goal every year is to put together a team that can become a podium squad," Turner said. "These guys will have that opportunity but we have a lot of work to do between now and then. We'll need to stay healthy and continue to develop."

Butler will next be in action on Saturday, Oct. 8 at the Oklahoma Baptist Invitational in Shawnee, Okla.