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Kenyan athlete feared dead in Alaska

NAIROBI, Kenya, November 9- Officials fear that a talented Kenyan student cross-country runner may have succumbed to the elements after a snowstorm hit the Anchorage area of Alaska over the weekend.

The Herald Sun reported on Wednesday that Marko Cheseto, a University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) has not been sighted since Sunday night when a blizzard hit the area.

“Anchorage police and members of Alaska Search and Rescue Dogs performed a search yesterday. Today, the effort was expanded to include the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group, Nordic Ski Patrol and Alaska State Troopers,” the paper published on their Wednesday online edition.

According to Police Cheseto, 28, was last seen about 7.15pm local time on Sunday. He did not return to his apartment and his roommates, who are fellow athletes, informed his coach Michael Friess that he was missing yesterday morning.

Friess and his team mates conducted a search of his home and locker and found his winter coat, car keys and mobile phone.

Last year Cheseto set a course record in the Anchorage Mayor’s Half Marathon and he has twice won the NCAA Division II West Region cross country championship.

Cheseto sat out the track season last spring after his team mate, William Ritekwiang – who came from the same village in Kenya as Cheseto – committed suicide, aged 23.

UAA athletic director Steve Cobb said Cheseto had been doing well lately, describing him as an exemplary student with a high GPA who was on course to graduate with a nursing degree next year.

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