Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rotich Turns Disappointment into Victory

by Matt Wilson

Harkening back to a similar scene a year ago, Kenneth Rotich glanced back over his left shoulder and saw … nothing. Runner-up Gilbert Kemboi trailed by as many as 10 seconds late and no kick would make up the distance over the final 100 meters.

Rotich slowly lifted his right hand in victory.

Flashback to October 27, 2007. Then a sophomore, Rotich dominated the first three-quarters of the A-Sun Championship. However, his body started working against him in the final stretch. De-hydration set in and he limped home to the finish in seventh place.

“I was winning in 2007 but unfortunately I became de-hydrated,” said Rotich. “I just could not run anymore and definitely not fast enough to compete for the win.”

The disappointment of 2007 transitioned into the dominance of the last two years.

“I think about it (2007). Sometimes when you mess up running, some things give you more motivation than others,” stated Rotich. “That was one of those things that makes me say ‘come on’.”

Redemption came last year as he led ETSU to its first conference title in cross country. This year as the favorite, he did not disappoint.

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