Kericho’s Philip Lang’at completed a brace as Sela Jepleting stunned a rich field to win the fifth leg of the Athletics Kenya National Cross-country Championships Series at Machakos Teachers College grounds on Saturday.
Lang’at, who came second in Iten before winning in Nyahururu, sounded a big warning ahead of the national trials, clocking 33 minutes, 22.20 seconds to win men’s 12km race.
Jepleting, a specialist in 1,500m, finally had her day in the sun, flooring 2010 World junior Cross champion Mercy Cherono, Beatrice Mutai and Lucy Kabuu to time 25:17.90 for her maiden win in cross country.
After finishing fourth in Nairobi and fifth in Nyahururu, Andrew Lorot unlashed won junior men’s 8km race as Sandra Chebet followed up her previous victory in Nyahururu with similar display in junior women’s 6km race. The 24-year-old Lang’at joined the leading park with three kilometers left before bursting to the front with 800m to go to triumph, beating home favourite Bernard Katui to second place in 33:28.53.
Emmanuel Bor was third in 33:40.87, followed by last year’s Jackpot winner Justus Kangogo 33:45.04.
“I knew the field was strong and I had to stay behind the pack before attacking with three kilometres to go,” said Lang’at, who finished fifth at the Africa Cross-country Championships in March and fourth during the same event in 2012.