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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Cheseret adds different ring to collection

    Senior runner Robert Cheseret and his new bride pose for a picture at the wedding ceremony in his hometown of Kapsabet, Kenya, on Aug. 11. This season the groom will run for his sixth overall Pacific 10 Conference Athlete of the Year award in addition to the five hes already won for cross country and track and field.
    Senior runner Robert Cheseret and his new bride pose for a picture at the wedding ceremony in his hometown of Kapsabet, Kenya, on Aug. 11. This season the groom will run for his sixth overall Pacific 10 Conference Athlete of the Year award in addition to the five he’s already won for cross country and track and field.

    Expect cross-country star Robert Cheseret to do well this season not because it’s his last year on the team, but rather because it’s his first year back as a married man.

    Cheseret, a five-time Pacific 10 Conference Athlete of the Year in track and field (three) and cross country (two), capped off his stellar 2005-06 season by marrying his high school sweetheart Dorcas Chepkoech on Aug. 11 in his hometown of Kapsabet, Kenya.

    So, will married life change him?

    Only for the better, Cheseret said. Because now he has more support.

    “”She inspires me,”” Cheseret said. “”She gives me courage and confidence.””

    Cheseret said he met 21-year-old Dorcas in nearby Eisero Girls Secondary School while he was attending Kurgung Boys School. But at that the time he didn’t know she was the “”one.””

    “”It was like any other relationship in high school,”” Cheseret said. “”But after some time our relationship had gotten stronger, and I got to know her more.””

    As the couple got closer, about six months ago Cheseret made the decision: He was going to propose.

    “”I had been thinking about it, waiting for the right time to ask her,”” Cheseret said.

    When he finally proposed, he said she was “”kind of expecting it.””

    So the two finally took the plunge in what can only be described as a bittersweet return to Kenya, his first trip back since he returned for the funeral of his brother-in-law in early March.

    Cheseret, who described the traditional Roman Catholic wedding at the Kipsirwo Catholic Church as “”beautiful,”” said his return home was much happier this time around.

    “”This time it was a lot different. Everyone was happy,”” Cheseret said. “”I got to enjoy it with everybody.””

    Irene Lagat, Cheseret’s sister and a member of the UA women’s cross country team, said she couldn’t attend the wedding because she was in summer school but said a typical Kenyan wedding is filled with many guests, cooking and gifts.

    “”We have friends and family come over,”” Lagat said, “”usually a couple hundred people.””

    Overall, Lagat said Cheseret appears to be elated since the wedding.

    And it’s this kind of happiness that is rubbing off on teammates and coaches.

    UA cross country head coach James Li said he’s already noticed a positive change in Cheseret.

    “”He’s happy,”” Li said. “”And a happy runner is a good runner.””

    Still, his teammates, some of whom were invited to the wedding but couldn’t make it, like to tease him about his big day, Cheseret said.

    Other teammates were even surprised by the matrimony.

    “”Some like to make fun,”” Cheseret said. “”But it’s not a big deal, I’m enjoying it.””

    The biggest jokester of them all is sophomore Lou Maturo.

    Maturo said he always has jokes for Cheseret.

    “”Oh man,”” Maturo said, laughing. “”Well, he wears his ring on his finger all the time when he runs. We just kind of make fun of him for it. It’s like he’s letting all the girls know don’t try to chase him down, he’s already taken.

    “”His hands are pretty heavy, not because he’s working out but because he’s wearing a ring.””

    But don’t think he’s gone soft, Maturo said.

    “”He’s still talking about winning Pac-10s and going to nationals and kicking butt, possibly turning pro,”” Maturo said. “”Just because he’s gotten married doesn’t mean he’s distanced himself from the team.””

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