NEW ROCHELLE, NY --The Monroe Mustangs men's cross country team looks improve on last year's Region XV Championships and twelfth place finish at the NJCAA cross country championships. They have retooled the team with several key newcomers to complement the returning core of runners.
The team will be led by sophomore Mpho Makofane . The new Mustangs joining him will be Elvis Kiplagat and Kipkoech Collins from Kenya, Rajay Hinds from Connecticut and Jaymes Dennison of Penns Grove High School, in New Jersey
Makofane enters his second year off of an injury-plagued freshman year in 2014. Head Coach, Shirvon Greene spoke about his importance to the team, "Makofane is very goal oriented. He's a well-rounded athlete and an excellent leader, his outstanding performances, dedication and leadership highlighted by him running with two stress fractures truly proved his loyalty to his team."
The native of Secunda, South Africa ran an impressive 26:36 in the 8K at NJCAA National Championships.
Collins is a very gifted and well-rounded athlete with outstanding performances in high school. A native of Kenya, Collins will strengthen the Mustang in the long distances. This past season he ran an impressive 24:37 in the 8K at a Kenyan development meet.
Kiplagat, also a native of Kenya, will be joining his fellow countryman Collins in New Rochelle. This past season he ran an impressive 25:17 in the 8K at a Kenyan development meet.
Hinds is a recent graduate from Windsor, Connecticut High School. Hinds is a very experienced runner whose strongest events are middle distance runs. This past season he ran an impressive 1:55.33 in the 800m at the state
Dennison is a transfer athlete who attended Penns Grove High School in New Jersey. He is gives the Mustangs another strong, middle distance competitor. This past season he won the NJCAA National Championships in the 600m run in an impressive time of 1:16.22, which is, a new meet record and the third fastest indoor time in the world.
Coach Greene shared his thoughts about the upcoming men's season, "This is the deepest and most well-rounded unit in program history. This year should be an outstanding year. It must be noted that this year we have the largest Men team in the program history; total of 15 runners. We are very excited and happy to have them all."
The Monroe College men's cross country team opens the 2015 season on Saturday, September 12, when they run at the Fordham Fiasco meet from Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.