RICHMOND, VA – The Winston-Salem State Rams men's and women's cross country teams enjoyed a stellar day, Thursday. The Rams women's cross country team stole the show, winning their second straight Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Women's Cross Country Championship in dominating fashion while the Rams men's cross country team placed sixth at the meet, the team's highest finish since 2012.
The Rams women put on a dominating performance to take the championship as the team totaled 27 points in the women's 5K run, 79 points better than second place Virginia Union, who finished with 106 points. Five of the Rams' seven runners reached the top ten in the event to claim the championship and to earn spots on the 2016 CIAA Women's All-Conference team. WSSU sophomore Domtilla Kiplagat claimed her second straight individual CIAA championship when she placed first with an 18:35.35 to be named the CIAA Women's Cross Country Runner of the Year for the second straight season as well. Senior Fawzia Kheir wasn't far behind when she placed second by just six seconds with an 18:41.38. Fellow senior Taska Johnson added a fifth-place finish when she ran a 19:29.03 while senior Micalyne Zimmerman added a ninth-place finish at 19:51.08 while senior Phyllis Cheruyiot rounded out the top 10 with a 19:54.97.
While the Rams women's put on a show dominating the headlines, the Rams men's team also had a stellar performance at the meet as well with a sixth-place finish in the men's 8K run. Totaling 163 points, the Rams earned a sixth-place finish at the meet, the team's highest finish in four years. WSSU freshman Mitchell Brown led the way for the Rams with a third-place finish at the meet with a 28:46.75. With the effort, he was the first WSSU runner to place in the top ten since former Ram Andrew Chebii claimed three straight individual conference championships and he also claimed a spot on the 2016 CIAA Men's Cross Country All-Conference team. Senior Harold Blakely also had a great performance when he placed 20th with a 31:14.34 while junior Julian Massey added a 27th place finish at 31:57.02.
With the conference championships completed, the Rams men's and women's teams will turn their attentions to the 2016 NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Meet hosted by Slippery Rock University at Cooper's Lake Campground in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, Saturday, November 5th. For more information on Rams men's and women's cross country, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.