Aug. 7, 2008
Auburn head cross country coach Peter Watson announced the addition of five newcomers, one transfer and four freshmen, to the men's roster for the 2008 season. Transfer Elkanah Kibet, a NJCAA champion at Rend Lake Community College in Ina, Ill., headlines the list of signees.
"I could not be happier with the recruiting class we have signed," Watson said. "We added two big-time recruits who will have an immediate impact on our cross country and track programs at the conference and national level."
Kibet was the 2008 NJCAA outdoor track and field 10,000m champion and also took third in the 5,000m. Indoors, he captured the 5,000m title and finished as the 3,000m and mile runner-up as the Warriors went on to win the national indoor team title. On the cross country course, Kibet finished fifth at the NJCAA Championships. He is a native of Eldoret, Kenya.
Also headlining the 2008 class is Girma Mesecho from Berkmar High School in Lilburn, Ga. In 2006, Mesecho placed ninth at the Footlocker High School National Cross Country Championships, the highest any Tiger recruit has finished. He finished ninth in the two mile run at the 2007 Nike Outdoor Nationals in 8:56.
Watson's reputation for bringing on top-level recruits from around the world continues in Nelson, New Zealand, native Julian Matthews. Matthews was a 2006 New Zealand secondary school champ in the 1,500m. He was also a two-time 1,500m runner-up at the U19 New Zealand Track and Field Championships.
From the U.S., Watson inked Jeff Sanders of Mandeville, La., and Myles Udland of Millburn, N.J. Sanders was the 2007 Louisiana high school state cross country runner-up and finished third in the mile at the 2008 high school state track and field championships. At the 2008 New Jersey Meet of Champions, Udland placed third in the mile.
Auburn's men's and women's cross country teams will open the 2008 campaign on Sept. 5, at the Powerade Invite in Chattanooga, Tenn.
For additional information, contact: Amanda Dahl (334) 844-9800.
Aug. 7, 2008