Kosgei finishes strong

Some athletes stand out in their sport more than others. Senior Derick Kosgei is a primary example. Kosgei has been a prominent cross country runner at Guilford since the 2009 season, after he transferred from East Central University.

Guilford’s campus and academic standing swayed Kosgei to transfer and he became an integral part of the cross country team.

Last year, in his junior cross country season, Kosgei earned numerous achievements and awards.

Notable accomplishments were three school records set in the five-, six-, and eight-kilometer races, in which he clocked times of 15 minutes and 51 seconds, 20 minutes and 48.34 seconds, and 25 minutes and 7.1 seconds respectively.

Kosgei went on to win the title of Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Cross Country Champion as well as become the first Guilford competitor to enter the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship.

“The main goal when I’m racing is to win, but it really depends with the race. Some are more competitive than others,” said Kosgei. “So it comes down to running your best. If I don’t win and I feel like I did my best, I will be satisfied.”

Although winning is wonderful, it is Kosgei’s passion for running that helps him to win races.

“I love cross country,” said Kosgei. “Being able to maintain a sub-five minute mile for five miles feels good.”

Cross Country Coach Bill Cason agrees it is Kosgei’s passion for running that makes him a winner and a leader for his teammates. While Kosgei himself is very humble and quiet about his abilities, Coach Cason admits that Kosgei’s running speaks for itself.

Cason has emphasized a winning tradition for Guilford’s cross country team and has felt that Kosgei is the main example of what he wants the team to achieve.

“Derick has set a standard of excellence on the team, and in the ODAC, that has raised the standards of his current team mates and all future Guilford College runners,” said Cason.

When one of Kosgei’s teammates beats him in at least one workout they have confidence in the fact they are getting stronger because, “Derick gives 100 percent every day,” said Cason.

In the same way that Kosgei gives 100 percent at running, he gives the same with academics.

A senior this year, he will be heading on to bigger and better things once he is a Guilford alumnus.

“My plan is find a job and go to graduate school,” said Kosgei. “However, I’m flexible if things work out in another direction. Running is part of me. I will still run and race regardless what I will be doing then.”

In addition to his studies, some of his volunteer work outside of Guilford consists of helping African refugees who live in Downtown Greensboro; something that seems very close to his heart.

Originally from Kenya, Kosgei finds education in the U.S. more accessible than in Kenya, due to the resources such as technology and money to fund programs colleges and universities receive. Of course, the downside to attending school in the States is not being able to visit or go home as much as he would like to.

Despite being so far away from home, Kosgei has shown how hard work pays off and has made the most of what Guilford has offered.

“I just want to thank everyone who has been part of my journey since I joined Guilford,” said Kosgei. “Coach Bill, Coach Cash, Coach Wade, my teammates, and the entire Guilford community. Thank you. God bless Guilford College!”