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VU sophomores Murphy and Goatee turn in top-10 performances to again earn NJCAA All-American designations at Half Marathon Championships

TOPEKA, Kan. – Vincennes University sophomores Robert Murphy and TaPring Goatee capped off their VU cross country careers with their second consecutive NJCAA All-American designations and top-10 finishes at Saturday’s NJCAA Half Marathon National Championships. The Trailblazer men were sixth in the team standings.

South Plains won the men’s race (16 points), with El Paso second (24 points), Allen County third (25 points) and Gillette and Iowa Western tied for fourth (40 points). Behind the Trailblazers (45 points) were Johnson County seventh, Cloud County eighth, Iowa Lakes ninth and Clarendon 10th.

On the women’s side, El Paso was the winner with eight points, followed by South Plains in second (23 points), Iowa Central third (27 points), Gillette fourth (31 points) and Iowa Western fifth (55 points). VU had only two runners in the women’s race so didn’t score in team standings because at least three competitors are needed for a team score.

Murphy, who finished in 1:09.55.0, claimed fourth place in the men’s race by bettering his 2013 Half Marathon Championships time and Goatee turned in a time of 1:28:49.7 but battled knee problems to gut out her second strong finish in the event during her Trailblazer career. She was third in 2013’s event.

The men’s individual winner was South Plains’ Antibahs Kibiwott Kosgey in 1:09.02.0. The individual medalist in the women’s race was Andrea Amaro of El Paso in 1:25:39.5.

In support of Murphy and Goatee, VU sophomore Michael Mest finished 16th in 1:16.13.7 and freshman Kelly O’Shea was 17th in the women’s meet in 1:34:35.4. Mest and O’Shea earned Coaches Association All-American status with those performances.

“We had some very solid races turned in,” VU Coach Chris Gafner said. “It was a much tougher course than last year; there were a lot of hills in this year’s course.

“Robert was actually faster this year and his fourth place and the (VU) men’s team’s sixth place finish as a group were definitely solid (finishes). Robert was not that far from the top 3,” Gafner added. “I thought TaPring really gutted it out very well. All the downhills in that course were hard on her knees, so sixth place was obviously pretty good in her situation.”

 

2014 NJCAA Men's Half Marathon National Championships Results (PDF)
2014 NJCAA Women's Half Marathon National Championships Results (PDF)