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Aggies lose gifted runner in accident

HUMPHREY, Nebraska_Press Release_The Cameron Athletic Department is saddened to confirm reports that gifted cross country runner Julius Kosgei was killed in a two-vehicle accident last week outside of Columbus, Nebraska. Kosgei was a 31-year old junior originally from El Doret, Kenya. His 27-year old cousin was also killed in the accident. Kosgei had been working this summer at a church camp in Nebraska, and was on his way back to Oklahoma with his cousin when the accident occurred.

"Julius had already improved a ton and was looking great," Head Cross Country Coach Matt Aguero said. "I actually talked to him a day before (the accident) and he said he was in the best shape of his life."

Kosgei was added to the Aggie cross country squad last spring, and was set to lead the team towards a Lone Star Conference championship this season. Before transferring to Cameron, Kosgei competed for the Cloud Community College (Concordia, Kansas) Thunderbirds.

"Julius Kosgei is irreplaceable, both on the course and off," Coach Aguero said. "He was definitely an emotional leader and was always smiling. We want to do some special things this season to honor Julius, and will dedicate the season to him."

After being added to the CU team last semester, Kosgei had begun to turn heads with his running ability. He nearly set a new school record in the 5000-meter run at last spring's Bobby Lane Invitational hosted by the University of Texas-Arlington. Kosgei's time of 15:09 in the race was 29 second better than his previous record.

"One thing we as a team will try and do is to live our lives the way Julius did: always upbeat, making sure to do the right things, and always having a smile on our face. Hopefully the memorial service will provide some closure."

The aforementioned memorial service for Kosgei is scheduled to take place next Thursday, August 21, at 7:00pm in the Cameron University Theatre. The service is open to everyone.

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