Panuel Mkungo of Taita Taveta County and Joan Cherop of Kilifi County emerged the winners of the 10km Coast Region Cross-Country Championship at Dawson Mwanyumba Stadium in Wundanyi on Saturday.
Mkungo, the US-based Taita Taveta County team captain, won the men's 10km event after clocking 26 minutes 22.18 seconds.
"I am happy with the victory as it was a start of my preparations for other races I intend to participate in this year. I have been training at Ibrahim Hussein training camp in the Rift Valley since March and during the national cross-country event, I'll try to secure a place in the national team," said the 25-year-old.
Thirty-year-old Joan Cherop clocked 36:08.50 minutes to win the women's title. Cherop said she is determined to fight for a place in the national team which will go for the Africa Cross-Country CHampionships in Togo in March.
"I failed to register good time because of the hot and humid conditions. I commend Athletics Kenya (AK) Coast branch officials for having successfully organised the event and I believe our team will do well at Ngong Racecourse next weekend, " said Cherop, who won the 2019 Detroit Marathon.
Home runners shine
In the men's 10km race that was dominated by Taita Taveta runners, Daniel Kemoi finished second in 26: 49.48 minutes, Vincent Tanui was third (26: 59.59), Boniface Nduva fourth (27: 26.11), Lameck Mwakio fifth (28: 34.04) and Luke Musembi sixth (28: 48.34).
Taita Taveta won other women top positions with Rose Nthei finishing second in 39: 16.16 while Irene Mkungo (40: 05.26), Neema Mutinda (41: 53.37), Jenipher Mutheu, (43: 17.89) and Eunice Koronge (43: 24.92) followed in that order.
The 5km girls under-18 event saw Maria Shali emerge victorious in 23:14.16 minutes followed by her older sister Agnes Mwashigadi who time 23:54.22.
Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja, who was in the stadium, awarded the twelve-year-old Shali with a cash prize of Sh10,000, while Agnes got Sh5,000.
Third placed Josephine Sempeyo, who returned 25:17.15, walked home with Sh3,000.