By Nate Perry, TTU Sports Information
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – For the second time in a cross country season that isn't even a month old, Sammy Kipkirui and Purity Sanga have given the Tennessee Tech program a sweep of the Ohio Valley Conference Runner of the Week awards.
Tennessee Tech was at the University of Florida's Mountain Dew Invitational this past weekend, where Kipkirui led the pack for the TTU men for the third straight week with a time of 24-minutes, 27.74-seconds, a new career best.
Kipkirui's time paced Tech's spread of 57.4 seconds between its No. 1 and No. 5 runners, which propelled it to a second-place team finish. It was just the second time in the Kapsabet, Kenya native's career that he broke the 25-minute mark, and the first time he finished in under 24 and a half minutes.
The result also moved him into the top 10 on Tech's all-time list for eight-kilometer races at No. 7.
Kipkirui's first Runner of the Week award this season was the result of his efforts at the Golden Eagle Invitational, where he was the individual champion.
Purity Sanga added the latest chapter to her meteoric rise for the Tennessee Tech women's team, breaking the school's women's five-kilometer record that she set last week (17:20.7) by more than 39 seconds with a time of 16:41.58.
With the first sub-17-minute 5K in Tech history, Sanga has separated herself from any other name in TTU lore by over 48 seconds, and now holds an astonishing six of the top-10 times in the Tech record book.
This week's OVC award gives Sanga three in a row to begin the 2018 campaign, and four of them for her career. She is now the program leader in such honors, eclipsing the three recorded by Stephanie Place.
Her time was good enough for a runner-up individual finish at the Mountain Dew, which gives her back-to-back second-place results at big meets.