MEQUON, Wis. – Olympic finalist Isaiah Kiplangat Koech spent time with Concordia University Wisconsin's cross country teams this past week, providing advice and guidance from his impressive running career.
Koech specializes in the 5,000 meters and finished fifth (13:43.83) in the finals at the 2012 London Olympic Games. He is one of four men to run the 5,000-meter indoor event under 13 minutes (12:53.29) and won the gold medal at the 2009 World Youth Championships in the 3,000 meters.
"I want everyone to work hard and push their limits on the athletic field," Koech said. "I have traveled the world competing and have encountered stiff competition everywhere I have gone. I told runners here at CUW to work hard and train their best."
This past summer, junior Jordan Guenther (West Bend, Wis.) traveled to Eugene, Ore., to watch some of the best runners in the world compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials. While there, he met Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku, who is a training partner with Koech, and a middle- and long-distance runner. The three spoke and had time to each lunch together in between events. Guenther subsequently traveled to London to watch all eight days of track & field events.
"Having spent time with Isaiah I learned that it doesn't matter who you are, run with the abilities God gave you," Guenther said. "Isaiah also told me to respect every runner when competing because they are pushing as hard as you are."
CUW hosts the Northern Athletics Conference Championships, men and women, on Oct. 27 in Mequon, Wis. The Falcon women have won the title three straight years, while the men have won the championship in consecutive years.