EKU’s men’s cross country is currently ranked eighth in the country. While cross country has always been dominant at EKU, this team has a chance to be an all-timer.
A big part of the teams success is due to Amos Kosgey, a runner from Kenya’s principle city, Edloret.
Kosgey has receieved multiple honors while at EKU including OVC Male Cross Country Runner of the Year in 2014. First Team All-OVC in 2012 and 2015, and All-Southeast Region in 2014 and 2015.
Despite an injury that kept him out of most of the 2015 season, he made his season debut at the OVC Championships, finishing second overall and helping the Colonels to a 17th place finish in the national championship.
Recently The Eastern Progress sat down with Amos to talk about his home country and what ultimately brought him to EKU:
Question: You’re from Kenya, and I have to ask, what made you want to come to EKU from a place so far away?
Amos: Mostly school, and the fact I had a scholarship, I said why not take it. It wasn’t only because of sports, I had offers from other schools but the fact my sister went here made me want to do it.
Question: So I’m curious, how do American coaches see you guys play since it’s such a long way away. Are there travel teams like they do with basketball?
Amos: Well we don’t have the luxury of a visit where they (coaches) come and tell you what they are offering you. Most of the time there is a connection between a coach and a former student and sometimes either the coach will come themselves or send an assistant to see the high school graduates.
Question: So you don’t visit with coaches beforehand?
Amos: Yeah, because some of us, like myself, are not runners until we have graduated and about 3 months after my graduation was when one of the coaches came to meet me. I was a terrible runner and was not good enough to earn a scholarship but with my family and the connection with that they trusted that I might be a good runner.
Question: That’s really cool. So you’ve been kicking butt since you got here pretty much?
Amos: Not really, my freshman year I wasn’t that good I just helped the team where I could. Then my sophomore year I got a stress fracture in my knee and had to sit out. That was my redshirt sophomore year and I was improving a lot. I haven’t been the best runner, but I do my best to help the team.
Question: I saw where you won OVC male runner of the year, what was that like and how did you find out?
Amos: If you look around the conference, you can usually get an idea. Every week they give out previews of the OVC performances and you look at that with how people are doing nationally but we’ve had people win before so it wasn’t that big of a deal. On the same hand it is nice to know that all your work has paid off.
Question: Do you see or compete against many people from your country in the United States?
Amos: Yea there’s a lot actually. If I started naming them off it would be a long list. Obviously my sister went here and then you look at our team and a lot [of us] are from where I’m from. Professionally you look at someone like Wesley Korir from Louisville, he’s been one of the top runners in the world the last few years.
Question: How do balance the pressure of being at a great program with a lot of great athletes and just trying to be the best you can be?
Amos: Most of the time its just team pressure. The last five years we have qualified for nationals, and its my last season. It’s not a good ending to not make nationals. You mentioned the athletes, and, yeah, you want to put your name up there but I don’t think I can relate to some of the top runner so I just want be able to say I gave it 100 percent when I was here.
After moving up one spot in the USTFCCCA National Poll to Number 8, Amos and the team travel to South Bend, Indiana to play in a stout Notre Dame Invitational Friday, September 30th.