Sally Kipyego

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Not to be confused with Sally Chepyego.
Sally Kipyego
Sally Kipyego Olympic Silver Medalist.jpg
College Texas Tech
Conference Big 12
Sport Track and field
Position Runner
Class Graduated May 2009
Major Nursing
Career 2005–present
Nationality Kenya
Born (1985-12-19) December 19, 1985 (age 29)
Kapsowar, Marakwet District, Kenya
High school Moi Kapcherop Girls
Career highlights
2007 All-American
2007 All-Big 12
2007 All-Mountain Region
2007 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year
2007 Honda Sports Award
2007 Mountain Region Track Athlete of the Year
2007 USTFCCCA Female Cross Country Athlete of the Year[1]
2008 Honda Sports Award
2008 NCAA Female Cross Country Athlete of the Year[2]
2009 Honda Sports Award[3]

Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego (born December 19, 1985) is a Kenyan long- and middle-distance runner. She was the silver medallist in the 10,000 metres at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics and the silver medalist in the same race at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. She has a personal record of 30:38.35 minutes for that event and her 5000 metres best of 14:30.42 minutes makes her the second fastest Kenyan woman for the distance.

She competed as part of the Texas Tech Red Raiders cross country and track and field teams under coach Wes Kittley. She became the first Kenyan woman to win a NCAA cross country individual championship, the first woman to win three consecutive NCAA Division I Cross Country titles, and the first runner to win three consecutive Big 12 Conference cross country titles. She also won three straight NCAA Indoor titles over 5000 m and was a two-time NCAA Outdoor champion. She is tied with Suzy Favor-Hamilton for the most individual championships in NCAA history.[4] Kipyego won more individual NCAA championships in 2 years than any other runner in NCAA history. Academically, Kipyego earned a nursing degree. She runs professionally on the International Association of Athletics Federations' ("IAAF") World Athletics Tour. She is sponsored by Nike, Inc.

Early life[edit]

Born in Kapsowar, Marakwet District, Kipyego attended Kaptiony Primary School. The school was demolished and, in January 2013, the newly constructed Shoe4Africa Sally Kipyego School replaced it. Kipyego's running career started in 2000 when she was 14. The following year, she represented Kenya as a junior at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, finishing eighth. However, a stress fracture kept her off both the 2002 and 2003 teams before entering college in the United States.[5]

Collegiate career[edit]


After coming to the United States, Kipyego continued her running career as part of the Texas Tech Red Raiders cross country and track and field teams, becoming the first Kenyan woman to win a NCAA cross country individual championship.[6] In December 2006, she was chosen as the top female college cross-country athlete in the United States. This honor made her the recipient of the 2007 Honda Sports Award and gave her an automatic nomination for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year award.[7] Kipyego is also one of only seven women in NCAA history to win four individual track titles during a single season.[8]

In November Kipyego won her second consecutive cross country national championship. In doing so, she set a new course record, beating the previous one by 18 seconds.[9]


As the nation's top collegiate female cross country runner, Kipyego was selected to receive the 2008 Honda Sports Award.[10]

On March 14, 2008, Kipyego won her sixth national title at the 2008 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships in the 5000 m, again with a world-leading time.[11] The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association named Kipyego the USTFCCCA Division I Indoor Track & Field Women's Track Athlete of the Year for 2008.[12] Later, the association also awarded Kipyego the Women’s Athlete of the Year honor for the 2008 outdoor season as well.[13]

On May 5, 2008, Kipyego set the NCAA 10,000 meter record in a time of 31:25.45 at the Stanford invitational (Palo Alto, CA), besting the previous record held by Lisa Koll by over 45 seconds. The record stood for almost two years, when it was taken back by Koll on the very same track in 2010.

On June 13, 2008, Kipyego won her seventh national title at the 2008 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the 5000 m, with an NCAA meet record time.[14] She followed that performance with a second-place finish in the 1500 m on June 14, 2008.[15] On November 1, 2008, Kipyego won the Big 12 Cross Country Championships with a time of 19:45, more than 50 seconds faster than second-place teammate Lillian Badaru. Her victory helped the Texas Tech women win their first conference championship.[16] Kipyego became the first runner since the creation of the conference to win three consecutive conference titles.[17]


In 2009, Kipyego was awarded her third consecutive Honda Sports Award. She was the first athlete to be honored three times with the program's cross-country award.[3] Kipyego finished her college career at the 2009 Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. She earned her ninth individual title by winning the 5000 meter.[18] This tied her with Wisconsin's Suzy Favor-Hamilton for the most NCAA individual championships. It took Kipyego only two and a half years to accomplish what Favor-Hamilton did in four.[19] In her final collegiate race, the mile, three-tenths of a second separated Kipyego from winner Sarah Bowman of the University of Tennessee.[20]

Professional career[edit]


Kipyego began her professional career in the 2010 season. She signed up as a member of the Oregon Track Club.[21] That year she came third in the Millrose Games mile and second at the Boston Indoor Games with a personal best of 14:52.67 minutes. She won her first outdoor 5000 m of the season at the Mt. SAC Relays and was in the top four of the event at the New York, Eugene and London legs of the 2010 IAAF Diamond League, before coming fifth in the final at the Memorial Van Damme with a new best of 14:38.64 minutes.[22]


At the start of 2011 she won the 3000 m at the Boston Indoor meet, then set an outdoor 1500 metres best of 4:06.23 minutes at the Oregon Relays in April. She bettered her 10,000 m time at the Payton Jordan Invitational by winning in 30:38.35. She gained selection for the Kenyan team in that event by coming second at the Kenyan trials. On the 2011 IAAF Diamond League she competed over 5000 m: she was fourth at the Prefontaine Classic, but managed second place at the DN Galan and Weltklasse Zürich meetings (improving her best to 14:30.42 minutes at the latter).[22] She established herself internationally at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics, where she was the silver medallist in the 10,000 m, finishing second to her compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot.[23] Kipyego ended her year by competing in American road competitions, taking second at the Fifth Avenue Mile and winning the Manchester Road Race for a second year running.[22]


In April 2012, Kipyego won the 5000 m at the Payton Jordan Invitational with a time of 14:43:11. A 3000 m best of 8:35.89 minutes came at the Prefontaine Classic, where she was second place. She guaranteed Olympic participation by coming third at the Kenyan 10,000 m trial event in Nairobi.[24]

In September 2012, MRI and CT-Scans would reveal a broken Calcaneus bone in her left heel; But in April 2013, just as the looming track season became visible on the horizon, Kipyego’s Calcaneus bone broke again.[25]


In March 2014, Sally Kipyego won and set the New York City half marathon women's record[26][27] in 1:08:31. In May 2014, Kipyego won the women's 10,000m in 30:42.26 in the 2014 Payton Jordan Invitational. Kipyego's race is the fastest 10,000 meters in the world as of 10 July 2014.[28] On 18 July, Kipyego ran 14:37.18[29] at the Diamond League Monaco.


Sally Kipyego won the Millrose Games women's 3000m in 8:41.72, setting a meet record, and finishing 1.47 seconds ahead of compatriot Betsy Saina.[30]

Competition record[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
2001 World Cross Country Championships Ostend, Belgium 8th Junior race  
2011 World Championships Daegu, Korea 2nd 10,000 metres  
2012 Olympic Games London, England 2nd 10,000 metres [31]

NCAA titles[edit]

Personal bests[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Kipyego went to Moi Kapcherop Girls High School in Kapcherop, Marakwet District. Her elder brothers, Mike Kipyego and Christopher Kipyego, are also runners.[32]

When Kipyego was four years old, her father died, leaving her mother alone to raise seven children. The family was poor and her mother was often sick. When Kipyego was eleven, her brother's friend suffered an injury in a bicycle accident. Kipyego ran seven miles to the nearest clinic but the doctor was intoxicated and kicked her out. These events gave Kipyego the desire to become a nurse so she could help provide better healthcare in her native country.[33]

Kipyego first enrolled at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas. After transferring to Texas Tech, she applied to the nursing program in February 2007. Kipyego received an acceptance letter and began her first nursing class on July 5, 2007.[33] Kipyego earned her nursing degree May 2009.


  1. ^ Hubbard, Sharisse (June 2007). "Team Reviews". Red Raider Sports. p. 27. 
  2. ^ Coleman, Adam (2008-12-02). "Kipyego named Cross Country Athlete of the Year for 3rd-straight year". The Daily Toreador. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  3. ^ a b "Sally Kipyego". Honda. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
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  5. ^ "Texas Texas Tech's Sally Kipyego dominates, Stanford women repeat at 2006 NCAA Cross Country Championships". 2006-11-21. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  6. ^ "Kenya native from Texas Tech cruises to victory in women’s race". Tribune-Star. 2006-11-21. Retrieved 2007-06-30. 
  7. ^ "Sally Kipyego of Texas Tech University Voted Honda Award". Inside Texas Running. 2006-12-08. Archived from the original on 2007-02-24. Retrieved 2007-06-30. 
  8. ^ "Notebook: On his heels". 2007-06-05. Archived from the original on 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  9. ^ "Tech's Kipyego repeats title in record fashion". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. 2006-11-20. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  10. ^ "Kipyego wins second Honda award". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. 2007-12-05. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  11. ^ "Kipyego Repeats in the 5000M to Win Sixth NCAA Title". Texas Tech Athletics. 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  12. ^ "Local Sports Briefly: Kipyego named top track athlete". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. 2008-03-19. Retrieved 2008-03-22. 
  13. ^ "Kipyego, Anderson Earn USTFCCCA Postseason Honors". Big 12 Conference. 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2008-06-18. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Medals from Carter, Kipyego have Tech off to fast start at national competition". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. 2008-06-14. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  15. ^ "Hannah England romps to NCAA 1500m title". Athletics Weekly. 2008-06-15. Archived from the original on 2008-06-19. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  16. ^ Malloy, Mike (2008-11-09). "Cyclone men have best Big 12 cross country finish since 1997". The Des Moines Register. Retrieved 2008-11-02. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Bonds Earns All-Big 12 Honors at Conference Championships". University of Kansas Athletics. 2008-11-01. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  18. ^ "Kipyego ties NCAA record with ninth title". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  19. ^ "Swan Song". Red Raider Sports. March 2009. p. 26. 
  20. ^ Lutey, Matthew (2009-03-25). "Women's indoor wins national title". The Daily Beacon. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  21. ^ Faraudo, Jeff (2011-05-02). "Oregon track & field: 'Perfect day' pushes Sally Kipyego, Jordan Hasay to big bests at Peyton Jordan". The Register-Guard. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  22. ^ a b c Sally Kipyego. Tilastopaja. Retrieved on 2012-06-16.
  23. ^ Johnson, Len (2011-08-27). Women's 10,000m Final - Cheruiyot leads Kenyan 1-2-3-4 (!) finish. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-08-28.
  24. ^ Mutwiri, Mutuota (2012-06-15). Cheruiyot takes Kenyan 10,000m Olympic Trials race in Nairobi. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-06-16.
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  32. ^ Daily Nation, July 17, 2011: Track queen and scholar rolled into one
  33. ^ a b "Texas Tech's Kipyego has one last task before starting next phase of her life". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. 2007-06-03. Retrieved 2007-06-30. 

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