Spartanburg, S.C. – After breaking school records and turning in strong performances at the Greater Louisville Classic last weekend, Gilbert Kemboi and Joan Tangwar made it a clean sweep for USC Upstate as both were named the runners of the week in the A-Sun, announced the league on Wednesday.
"We are extremely proud of both of them," said Upstate head coach Jimmy Stephens. "They are great team leaders and work extremely hard. Our first goal as a team is to compete on the conference level. Our second goal is to compete on the national level. They have stepped up and allowed us to have athletes who can compete on the national level. I am excited about what they have accomplished and look forward to seeing what they can do the rest of the season."
Kemboi, a sophomore from Eldoret, Kenya, was named the male runner of the week after finishing third out of 323 runners at the Greater Louisville Classic. He ran a career-best time of 23:22.28 in the 8k, finishing less than 1.6 seconds behind the winner and ahead of 320 other runners from schools in conferences such as the ACC, SEC, Big East, A-Sun, Southern and OVC conferences. He also finished ahead of Mississippi State's Barnabus Kirui who finished fourth at last year's NCAA Championships.
Kemboi's time in the 8k not only marked a personal best for the reigning 2009 A-Sun Freshman of the Year, but it also broke his own school record and stands as the top time in the A-Sun this year. He now has two wins (Eye Opener and Clemson Invitational) and a third-place finish on the year. This week's selection marks the second runner of the week honor for Kemboi this season.
Tangwar, a junior from Eldoret, Kenya, was named the female runner of the week after finishing 13th out of 302 runners at the Greater Louisville Classic in a field of ACC, SEC, Big East, A-Sun, Southern and OVC conference schools. She also broke a school record with her own personal best time of 17:25.36 in the 5k. The time is also the second-best in the A-Sun this season. She finished ahead of any other A-Sun runner in the meet as Kennesaw State and Belmont each ran in the event.
Tangwar won the Eye Opener meet to start the season and finished second at the Clemson Invitational. She now has three top 15 finishes on the year. This week's selection marks the second runner of the week honor for Tangwar this season.
This is the second time this season that Kemboi and Tangwar have swept weekly honors from the A-Sun. The pair also achieved the fete after sweeping the individual titles at the Eye Opener meet in early September.
"Gilbert's time speaks for itself," said assistant coach Carson Blackwelder. "He competed against national-caliber athletes. He surprised us and he surprised himself that he ran that fast. He just did a great job. Joan has improved steadily. She went out there and mixed it up with the top 15 and did a really good job competing. She gave everything she had."