NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 11 – Africa champion James Rungaru reigned supreme at the Athletics Kenya (AK) Nairobi cross country championships at Posta grounds along Ngong Road on Saturday.
Rungaru of Embakasi who won the Africa cross title in Yaounde, Cameroon last year clocked 27:21.00 to win the senior men’s 10km race.
Africa cross country junior silver medalist Langata’s Andrew Lorot trailed in second place re returning 27:37.03 as Embakasi’s Sammy Kirui was third in 27:37.08.
In a post race interview, Rungaru said he is aiming for a slot in Team Kenya at the AK national cross championship at Uhuru Gardens on February 18.
World Youth 2000m champion Cellphine Chepteek anchored Langata to win the mixed relays.
Chepteek anchored a quartet of Riruta Central Secondary school student comprising of Winfred Mutile, Nicholas Leparan and Peterson Sagima in timing 21:52.03 for Langata’s victory.
All Africa Games 5000m winner Rosemary Wanjiru emerged victorious in senior women’s 10km by clocking 41:34.00.
In second place was Margaret Wangari (32:26.05) while Jacinta Wanjohi was third in 32:55.04 for Dagoretti handled by national cross country team coach John ‘Warm Up’ Mwithiga to complete a clean podium sweep.
World Junior 5000m bronze medalist Wesley Ledama from Westlands took the top honours in the Junior men’s 8km in 21:34.02.
Ledama was closely followed by Langata’s Philip Rono in second spot by timing 21:38.04 as Njiru’s Kiprono Sitonik was third in 21:40.01.
Langata’s Mutile who finished second behind Chepteek in the Junior women’s 6km race last year improved on her performance to win the event in 18:38.05.
Beatrice Chebet was second by timing 18:56.06 as Abigael Chebet was third in 19:01.02 in a race that Chepteek opted not to defend her title.
Rungaru who represented South Rift last year has switched allegiance to the Kenyan capital based region.
Despite Chepteek and former Africa junior cross country and 5000m champion Moses Mukono got wild cards to represent Nairobi at the AK national cross country championships.
Langata’s seven uninterrupted reign was brought to an abrupt end by Embakasi.
Langata led by the AK Nairobi chairman Barnaba ‘Governor’ Korir settled for second place with 26 points to surrender the crown.
Embakasi chaired by the AK Nairobi treasurer Pak Kariuki won by amassing 21 points as Starehe completing the last podium finish with 54 points.
The AK Njiru sub branch chairperson Georgina Nyambura was appointed as the squads team manager, Rongai Athletics Club tactician Bernard Ouma as coach with Jacqueline Kerubo being given the role of chaperone.