Coming from Kenya, freshman Viola Seromot knew she wanted to run cross country on the collegiate level, and she has shown the Ohio Valley Conference and the Eastern Kentucky University Cross Country team that she is a dominant runner.
“It is my first time running cross country [at EKU], but I am grateful to be able to do it,” Seromot said.
Seromot has been named Ohio Valley Conference female runner of the week three times this season and the OVC female freshman of the year.
“I feel so grateful to be freshman OVC female runner,” Seromot said.
She decided to come to America because she found out about EKU online and it stuck out to her over other schools.
“I decided to come here and join the team because of the teamwork,” Seromot said.
Seromot joined a cross country team that has now won 13 OVC titles in the last 14 years.
With her performances this season and in the OVC championships, the EKU women’s team swept the competition for their 33 overall title in program history.
Seromot led EKU and ran away with the individual title, covering the 5K course in a time of 17:31.1 and defeating her nearest competitor by more than 20 seconds.
Coming to a new country can be difficult, but Seromot’s transition to a new culture and lifestyle was smooth.
Seromot said there was no culture shock but the environment here in Kentucky being different from Kenya.
“I have adjusted to the environment and I like how everyone has been welcoming and so friendly,” Seromot said.
Seromot began running while she lived in Kenya.
“Before I came here two years prior I started running,” Seromot said.
With the changes in altitude and climate in Kentucky compared to Kenya, Seromot has had to make some adjustments on the course.
“The altitude is so high in Kenya and the climate is really different,” Seromot said.
She said that her teammates were welcoming to her when she came here.
“My teammates are very nice,” Seromot said.
The cross country team is made up of mostly freshmen which gives them an opportunity to grow together as a team.
“It is nice to be apart of cross country, I can’t wait for next season to be better with my teammates and work harder,” Seromot said.
Cross country head coach,Cory Erdmann, and assistant coaches, Tito Medrano and Joelle Amaral are pleased with her performances this season and happy to see her win OVC female freshman of the year.
“I like the coaches and trust their ways of coaching me,” Seromot said.
In the RedHawk Rumble in Sept., the EKU women were led by Seromot, who won the individual title with a 6K time of 21:45.6.
Seromot continued to lead the EKU women’s team with a 16-place finish in the NCAA Southeast Regional on Nov. 15.
She led the way for the women, delivering an All-Southeast Region performance by finishing 21 overall with a 6K time of 20:51.4.
“It is so nice to be here at EKU,” Seromot said.
Her best run of the season was 21:23.2 in a 6K at the White Race of the Under Armour Pre-National Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind.