MTSU's David captures Sun Belt Cross Country men’s title

Middle Tennessee senior Justus David won the Sun Belt Cross Country men’s individual title on Saturday morning in Bowling Green, Ky.

The Kitui, Kenya, native finished the 8k course in a time of 24 minutes, 25.70 seconds - beating out Western Kentucky’s Deus Rwaheru by less than two seconds. The victory is the third of the year for David who became the first Middle Tennessee runner to win the conference championship since Geoffrey Lagat claimed the title in 2001.

“Justus is simply an amazing competitor,” said cross country head coach Dean Hayes. “He ran a great race today and I am extremely happy for him.” 

Meanwhile in the women’s 5k competition, Lucy Kapkiai placed second while clocking a time of 17:45.70. Marion Kandie of Western Kentucky finished first with a time of 17:21.50.

“Lucy performed very well today,” Hayes said. “She showed just how talented she is and came away with a great finish.”

The Middle Tennessee men finished third in the team results, racking up 64 points while the women placed seventh with 155 points. The Hilltoppers won both team championships. 

Freshman Robinson Simatei followed shortly behind David for the Middle Tennessee men, placing sixth with a time of 25:03.70. Fellow freshman Silas Taiget clocked a time of 26:03.00, finishing with a 16th-place finish.

Keith Davis rounded out the Blue Raider men finishing in the top 20, as the sophomore finished 18th in a time of 26:24.60.

Sophomores Deanna Brasz and Autumn Gipson both provided the women’s team with solid performances on Saturday. Brasz completed the course in 19:05.00 to finish 20th while Gipson followed immediately behind in 21st place, clocking a 5k time of 19:16.50.

The NCAA South Regional Championships is next on the schedule for the Blue Raiders. Follow the Blue Raider men’s and women’s cross country teams on Twitter @MTTrackField and on Facebook at the MT Track & Field page for information on which Middle Tennessee runners will run at the meet as the information becomes available.

Also, stay up-to-date on the teams on the new Track & Field Notebook, which can be found here as well as linked on the Track & Field page on

Men's Team Results
Finish, Team, Points
1, Western Kentucky, 36
2, UALR, 51
3, Middle Tennessee, 64
4, Florida International, 126
5, UL-Monroe, 149
6, South Alabama, 158
7, North Texas, 169
8, Florida Atlantic, 225
9, UL-Lafayette, 230
10, Arkansas State, 232
11, Troy, 270

Men's Individual Results (Winner and MT Finishers)
Finish, Name, Time
1, Justus David, 24:25.70
6, Robinson Simatei, 25:03.70
14, Silas Taiget, 26:03.00
18, Keith Davis, 26:24.60
25, Vincent Bett, 26:37.00
30, Lyle Haywood, 26:55.10
62, Jamarious Jones, 28:50.20

Women's Team Results
Finish, Team, Points
1, Western Kentucky, 60
2, North Texas, 74
3, South Alabama, 97
4, UALR, 98
5, Arkansas State, 113
6, Florida Atlantic, 130
7, Middle Tennessee, 155
8, Florida International, 187
9, UL-Monroe, 249
10, UL-Lafayette, 284
11, Troy, 287

Women's Individual Results (Winner and MT Finishers)
Finish, Name, Time
1, Marion Kandie (WKU), 17:21.50
2, Lucy Kapkiai, 17:45.70
20, Deanna Brasz, 19:05.00
21, Autumn Gipson, 19:16.50
49, Rachel Islam, 20:09.20
66, Stephanie Smith, 20:54.90
68, Tressanique Hampton, 20:58.70