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Sally Kipyego - a Red Raider Like No Other

Amidst the football fever and the kickoff of the Red Raider basketball season, one young woman has completed her college athletic career as one of the most successful student-athletes in Texas Tech history.  While many Texas Tech fans are hoping that the football team can get a shot at a national title, Sally Kipyego has just won her third – and that’s only in cross country.  She became the first female athlete in NCAA history to win three NCAA Cross Country titles.  Add that total to her numerous  indoor and outdoor track titles.  In addition to her athletic accomplishments, she earned academic all-conference honors on her way to a nursing degree.  Her resume as an athlete at Texas Tech will be tough for anyone to touch.

A June 2008 article by Tim Griffin tells more of her story and her drive to make a difference, and shows how her two passions – running and nursing – were forever linked.

After covering more than 7 miles, Kipyego arrived at a clinic in a nearby village. She found the doctor there, but he refused to treat her friend, eventually locking the door to keep her out of his facility.

A near-hysterical Kipyego then charged back to the scene of the accident, where she found that Elias' condition had worsened while she was away. She arrived just in time for him to die in her arms and those of her brother.


She felt so strongly about that incident that it served as a stimulus for her to pursue a nursing career. She included details of the incident in her application to nursing school at Texas Tech, where she is currently about a year away from receiving her nursing degree. Her eventual career goal is to return home to Kenya with hopes of providing better health care for her impoverished country.

After experiencing personal setbacks and tragedy, Sally Kipyego has run herself atop the record books at Texas Tech, and for that, we applaud her.


Congratulations, Sally Kipyego, and Thank You!

Sally Kipyego’s Title Count

Cross Country

  • 2006 – Big 12 Champion, NCAA Champion, led team to first national meet appearance and 6th place finish.
  • 2007 – Big 12 Champion, NCAA Champion
  • 2008 – Big 12 Champion, led team to first team Big 12 Title.  NCAA Champion, led team to 7th place finish at national meet.


  • 2007 – Indoor Mile Big 12 Champion, Indoor 3000m Big 12 Champion, led team to Big 12 Championship in Indoor Distance Medley Relay, Indoor 3000m NCAA Champion, Indoor 5000m NCAA Champion, Outdoor 1500m Big 12 Champion, Outdoor 5000m Big 12 Champion, Outdoor 10000m NCAA Champion, Outdoor 5000m NCAA Champion
  • 2008 – Indoor Mile Big 12 Champion, Indoor 3000m Big 12 Champion, Indoor 5000m NCAA Champion, Outdoor 5000m NCAA Champion