Kinyanjui, Butler Compete at Nationals
Nov. 24, 2003
Waterloo, Iowa - Competing with temperatures hovering in the low 20s and with 20 mile per hour winds blowing, TCU's Mary Kinyanjui and Ami Butler finished 45th and 57th respectively at the NCAA Women's Cross Country Championships, held at the Irv Warren Golf Course in Waterloo, Iowa on Monday.
Kinyanjui, who was named the South Central Region Female Athlete of the Year on Saturday, completed the 6K course in 20:51.5. The junior from Kiambu, Kenya was the Conference USA champion and the South Central Regional champion. Butler, a senior from Maybank, Texas, covered the 6K distance in 20:56.3. Earlier this season she earned runnerup honors at the Conference USA meet and was third in the regional competition. Shalane Flanagan of North Carolina won the event in 19:30.4. Stanford captured both the men's and women's team titles.
"Both Mary and Ami ran really well," said TCU coach Derek Koonts. "They competed hard in the cold and windy conditions. Both fell twice in the first 600 meters of the race and were well back of the pack, probably in about 200th place out of the 252 runners after 1K. They battled through it and looked very strong at the end, passing a number of people. Both were somewhat disappointed in their performance, knowing that if they had not fallen, they could have been all-Americans."
Kinyanjui and Butler were just the second and third female cross country runners from TCU to compete at the NCAA Championships, joining former distance standout Glady's Keitany.
"I was very pleased with not only how they did today, but their season as a whole," added Koonts. "They represent where we are going with this program and that we can compete at the highest level. It was miserable out there today, but both Mary and Ami are as tough as nails. I'm very proud of what they accomplished."
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