• Africa cross country-bound Agnes Jebet is also expected to defend her 6km junior women title.
• Lai added that the championships will be the good training ground for top and upcoming runners, especially those in the national cross country team.
Africa 3,000m steeplechase champion Norah Jeruto and Palio Della Quercia 5,000m champion Michael Bett are expected to defend their Maria Soti Ekiden cross country titles this weekend in Elgeyo Marakwet County.
Athletics Kenya (AK) Elgeyo Marakwet County chairman Pius Lai said: “We are expecting tough competition come Sunday because of a good number of runners will be competing including the defending champions Jeruto and Bett."
Last year, Jeruto, a former Commonwealth Youth 2,000m steeplechase champion stunned her opponents like former Africa junior 1,500m silver medalist Gloria Kite and Esther Chesang to win the title, timing 34:03.1. Chesang was second in 35:30.8 while Kite completed the podium in 36:36.0.
Bett, who edged out reigning Africa junior cross country winner Nicholas Kimeli, won the title in 29:50.6 ahead of Kimeli’s 29:51.1 and Boniface Kiptarus’ 29:53.4.
Africa cross country-bound Agnes Jebet is also expected to defend her 6km junior women title. Jebet, the two-time East Africa junior champion, will be representing Kamwosor Junior Training camp as part of her training for the Africa Cross Country Championships in Lome, Togo.
Lai added that the championships will be the good training ground for top and upcoming runners, especially those in the national cross country team.
“This is the best training ground for Africa team that is yet to hit the training camp. The race runs in the high altitude, the best place for training and churning out the best runners of all time,” said Lai.