Three NESCAC Runners Selected by USTFCCCA as Athletes of the Year

Courtesy Amherst/Hamilton Sports Information/USTFCCCA

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Hamilton junior Peter Kosgei (Kapsabet, Kenya), Williams junior Edgar Kosgey (Eldoret Rift Valley, Kenya), and Amherst senior Elise Tropiano (Plainview, N.Y.) have been selected by the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) as Athletes of the Year. Kosgei was chosen as the Atlantic Region Athlete of the Year, while Kosgey and Tropiano were named New England Region Athletes of the Year.

Kosgei is a two-time USTFCCCA Atlantic Region men's cross country Athlete of the Year. He has finished first in all eight races for Hamilton this year, including the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional, the NESCAC Championship and the New York State Collegiate Track Conference championship -- all in November.

Kosgei's best time on an 8,000-meter course this fall was 24:39.9 at Hamilton's own invitational on Oct. 11. His winning time smashed the previous course record by almost 25 seconds.

Kosgei competes in the NCAA Division III championship at Hanover College in Hanover, Ind., on Saturday, Nov. 22. He is the top returnee from the 2007 national meet, when he finished in second place. It's the only race the two-time NESCAC Most Outstanding Performer hasn't won in two years with the Continentals.

Tropiano is fresh off a win at last weekend’s NCAA New England Championships, where she defeated a strong field of runners and improved upon her seventh place finish at the 2007 Regionals by finishing the six-kilometer race in 21 minutes and 49 seconds. In consecutive races this year, Tropiano placed second at UMass Dartmouth, first at Williams College, second at the Open New England Championships (first among Division III runners), and first at the Little Three and NESCAC Championships, resulting in a NESCAC Most Outstanding Performer award.

The Lord Jeffs enter this weekend’s national championships as the 21st-ranked team in the country and, more importantly, as the defending national champions. Tropiano earned All-America honors last year for placing 22nd at Nationals with a time of 21:54, as she also earned a spot on the 2007 USTFCCCA All-Region Team.

Kosgey dominated the field at the New England Regional, winning by 14 seconds as the Ephs claimed the team championship. He finished 36th at last year's NCAA Cross Country Championships.

Williams head coache Peter Farwell was named Men's Coach of the Year for the New England region. Following their third-straight NESCAC and fourth-straight ECAC titles, the Ephs won the New England Regional by more than 80 points. Farwell's men won NCAA cross country championships in 1994 and 1995 and have nine other top-10 finishes since. Farwell has been coaching the Williams men since 1979.

Middlebury head coach Terry Aldrich came away as the Women's Coach of the Year for the New England region. Aldrich guided the Panthers to a share of the 2008 NESCAC title and a 25-point win at the New England Regional. In his 34 years at Middlebury, Aldrich has won four NCAA women's cross country titles, most recently in 2006, as well as two AIAW skiing championships.