Aug. 29, 2012
FORT WORTH – When success is achieved, it is important to continue to build on that success. That will be what drives Agnes Kemboi as the TCU women’s cross country team takes to competition this week.
Kemboi was the star of the Horned Frogs women’s team, and will be its leader in 2012. The senior qualified for the NCAA Championships with a sixth place finish at the South Central Regional meet last year.
“I made it to nationals and I was third in the Mountain West, which was the highest I ever finished at that meet,” Kemboi said. “I also did well at regionals, and throughout the rest of the season.”
Kemboi’s accomplishment at the MWC Championships was particularly notable. TCU had traditionally struggled at the conference championships due to elevation change after competing and training at lower altitude all season. The thin air of the conference competition affected the Frogs more than other foes.
“We were more disappointing than all the other teams,” Kemboi stated. “We were slower than everyone in our conference. Running at high altitude was way harder for us.”
That obstacle is now gone. The Big 12 Championships will be run at a regular elevation site in at the University of Texas. The expectations for the Frogs are high both within the squad.
“I am really excited about it,” Kemboi noted. “It will be a challenge for me and my teammates. It will be really fun. It will be tough, but we are not afraid.”
The expectations have also been set high outside of Fort Worth. Just last week, the USTFCCCA gave the TCU women a South Central Region preseason ranking of fifth, the highest preseason ranking since the organization started posting preseason polls.
The Horned Frogs return a veteran group with the likes of seniors Tricia Terry and Katie Dalton on board. However, the group will also have to integrate six freshmen into the mix. The early results have pleased Kemboi.
“It is going well,” Kemboi said. “With nursing school I have not been able to be around, but when I have it has been really fun.”
Another veteran the Horned Frogs will be able to look to is head coach Liz Wort. Kemboi has been among the Horned Frogs to praise the work of the second-year leader.
“I think she is great as our coach and as a person,” Kemboi said.
With only three months until the cross country season concludes at the national championships, Kemboi and TCU have a lot on their plates. However, she knows what she wants to do.
“My goal is to get back to nationals and at least be All-American,” Kemboi concluded. “I hope we (as a team) get higher than we ever have at regionals. I hope we do improve.”
The TCU men’s and women’s cross country teams start their season Friday at the Bear Twilight Invitational in Waco. The women’s race starts at 7 p.m. with the men following afterwards.