Kipyego Remains Undefeated With Win At Team Northeast Region

Devan Kipyego is now in a rare company. Not many athletes have remained undefeated all year, especially when attending big meets like Manhattan College Invitational, New England Championships, and now Team Northeast Regionals.  

Kipyego went into the race with the goal of winning and made sure the pace was fast from the gun. He led through the 1k mark, and worked up the hill in a fast first half of 7:38.5. He was tied for first with Aidan Ross of Uxbridge, Massachusetts. In the lead group was also last year's champion Aidan Cox of Coe Brown, New Hampshire, and Byron Grevious of Phillips Exeter, New Hampshire. As they descended down the hill, Kipyego pushed the pace and began to drop Ross. Then as they hit the final hill, Kipyego surged to drop everyone else and cruised down the final stretch before Grievous closed hard to nearly close the gap. Kipyego finished in 15:34.6 for a 197-speed rating. This is the 5th fastest time ever run on the course, and the second fastest in Rhode Island history. Similar to the Rhode Island State Meet, DJ Principe's record still stands strong despite a strong effort from Kipyego and company. They were ahead of his record pace at halfway, but their close was much slower than Principe's who did it alone his senior year before taking All-American honors at Team Natinoals despite being sick. Kipyego in his post-race interview referenced recent trash talk on social media as fuel for his win and he now feels he has 'silenced all the haters' online. Kipyego has one more test, and it will be the ultimate test of strength against the Young brothers, Connor Burns, and Hunter Jones.  

The team battle saw Bishop Hendricken finish in 4th place, and be just 1 point off of 3rd. Troy Silvestri took 17th in 16:28.2 for a 180-speed rating and 3rd-team all-region honors. Keegan Tierney took 30th, Andrew Frezza was 35th, and Will Olsen and Alex Sjoblom were 43rd and 44th respectively. At the half, they had 165 points but cut that to 143 by the finish. Christian Brothers Academy, otherwise known as CBA, won the region with just 80 points and will continue its streak of trips to Team Nationals. Episcopal Academy placed 2nd, and strung together a quiet season, and peaked when it mattered most to score just 128 points. Phillips Exeter Academy placed 3rd with 143 points led by the previously mentioned Grievous.  

Other RI individual performances include top 50 performances from Cole Francis of Narragansett and Nick Martin of East Greenwich on the boy's side. The girl's side saw Rory Sullivan of St. Raphael's just miss nationals by one spot. She ran 19:35.4 for 12th and second-team all-region. Both Jessica Deal and Kiley DeFusco took home third-team all-region honors. They finished 18th and 19th overall and ran 19:49 and 19:52 respectively. Madeleine O'Neill placed 32nd in 20:20.8 for Narragansett and Sullivan's teammate Chandaniey Boyce took 40th in 20:32.2 for the Saints.  

The only Rhode Island athlete at the former Foot Locker Northeast regional, which is now called Champs Sports XC Championships, was James McCarron III of Portsmouth in 16:42.1.  

Kipyego will race at Team Nationals next Saturday, December 3rd, at Glendoveer Golf Course in Beaverton, Oregon.