Kithuka Emerging as Star Runner for Red Raiders

Junior Kennedy Kithuka has broken two course records in his first two meets as a Red Raider.

by Jake Montgomery
Texas Tech Athletics Communications

Sept. 27, 2012

LUBBOCK, Texas - Kennedy Kithuka, two-time NAIA National Champion transfer from Wayland Baptist, has started the 2012 cross-country season in record-breaking fashion. The Kenyan native has finished first overall, and broken the course record in both of his first two races to open the 2012 season.

Just two meets into the season, it's clear the first year Red Raider is having no trouble transferring his success from Wayland Baptist to Texas Tech.

"He's a natural leader, hard worker, and very positive person."

Head Coach Jon Murray

"Texas Tech is a big school," Kithuka said. "I was excited to come here to run here. Wayland Baptist was a small school. Most of the time, as I go to compete, I would not be given the chance to compete with the fastest people. I am happy because I will be up against the best competition. I will be happy to compete and represent Texas Tech."

Kennedy has certainly represented Texas Tech well in his first two performances. He was recently named Big 12 Men's Runner of the Week following his course record time of 23:88.44 in the 8,000-meter race last week at the Texas Tech Red Raider Open.

"He's a natural leader, hard worker, and very positive person," Texas Tech head cross-country coach Jon Murray said. "He is soft spoken but yet at the same time leading by going out there, running hard, and doing his best."

Kithuka's impressive start and work ethic is also motivating the other Texas Tech runners.

"They see someone running at a very high level so they want to go to that next level also," Murray said. "He brings the best out of the other athletes because he shows them they can do better. Having someone who can run at a very high level can really help elevate the team."

Kennedy's mindset and preparation has not changed after the first two races either.

"Wherever I go to run, I just go and run 100 percent," he said. "I don't say `this is a small race so I'll run easy'. I just try to go there and beat myself."

Texas Tech will now compete Saturday at the Rim Rock Classic in Lawrence, Kansas. The meet is set to be held at the Rim Rock Farms course with an 8k men's race and a 6k women's race.




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