Freshman Noah Simatei wins Fordham Fiasco five-mile race for division

BRONX, N.Y. — Reigning East Coast Conference Rookie of the Week Noah Simatei continues to dazzle early in his collegiate career. And not even a wrong turn on Saturday that cost him more than 200 meters could derail him.

Simatei, a Kenyan freshman majoring in information technology, finished first among Division II and III and JUCO competitors in the Fordham Fiasco at Van Cortlandt Park. He posted a five-mile time of 26:49.78. That allowed Simatei to finish more than a half-minute ahead of runner-up Casey Ellis of East Stroudsburg (27:24.40).

Including Division I runners, Simatei placed seventh, behind four runners from Manhattan and two from Rutgers.

"Noah sent a clear message today: 'I am here. I am ready,'" coach Lenroy Raffington said. "Were it not for a wrong turn, he probably would have won the race. He destroyed all other Division II competitors in the race, including some of last year's NCAA qualifiers."

The NYIT men's cross country team finished fifth of nine teams in the Division II and III and JUCO grouping, posting an average five-mile time of 31:35.44. The other Bears competitors: Devon Lides (20th, 29:17.00), Kyle Acapana (45th, 32:14.65), Laban Korir (53rd, 34:37.92) and Tyler Mack (56th, 34:57.83).

For the women, Irene Chepleting finished first among NYIT runners and 22nd overall in the Division II and III and JUCO grouping, posting a 5K time of 21:59.86. She was followed by Melissa Pierre (39th, 23:15.13), Erin Smith (54th, 24:37.04) and Heidi Abrahamsen (66th, 29:16.84).

The women did not qualify in the team standings because only four runners competed.