MSSU’s Kimutai returns from injury and wins Southern Stampede

JOPLIN, Mo. – Missouri Southern distance runner, Gidieon Kimutai, picked up right where he left off a few years ago as one of the top cross country athletes in Division II.

“It felt really great to be back,” Kimutai says. “It was a rough journey. After the outdoor season, I started my summer training and I worked hard through the summer to get fit again.”

After the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID, Kimutai got injured and missed the 2021 season as well.

“We had one goal: that we were going to do our best and win the national championship this year and with that goal in mind, I worked out over the summer just to be back,” Kimutai says.

On Saturday at the Southern Stampede, he raced for the first time since 2019. Kimutai won the individual title and set a personal record, running the 8K race in 23:37.3.

“After the 5K, I was still feeling strong and that’s the point when I told myself, “I can do it,” and I decided to go for it,” Kimutai says. “I was really happy and it just showed me where I am in terms of my fitness. I felt pretty good after the race.”

His impressive performance earned him recognition as the MIAA Cross Country Athlete of the Week and the USTFCCCA National Cross Country Athlete of the Week.

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