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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Collins Kibet aka C-40 drawn to UA cross country program by his sister


Arizona Athletics

Most Arizona fans know the Wildcats’ cross country star as Collins Kibet. Others know the junior as C-40, a nickname Kibet bestowed upon himself.

“I just thought about it and some actors have cool names,” Kibet said. “That made me think how I could make a name up. I figured C-40 was pretty cool, I liked it and it makes life more interesting.”

Kibet and his sister Elvin, whom Collins spends a lot of time with, are from Eldoret, Kenya. Elvin was on the UA cross country team before Collins.

She called her brother before he joined the team to tell him about the UA and spark his interest. Collins began running after high school and eventually became invested in running for the UA.

He then moved to Arizona to join his sister as a Wildcat and had her show him the ropes.

“When I was a freshman, she was a junior. Having her at UA was the best thing ever,” Collins said. “She was the only family I had around. I was blessed to have her here with me and how we were on the same team was amazing.”

Less than three years later, Collins has achieved accolated awards including 2014 Pac-12 All-Academic First Team, 2015 All-Pac-12 in the 800-meter race, 2015 NCAA All-American First Team in the 800-meter race and 2015 Academic All-District.

Collins is heading into his third straight Pac-12 Cross Country Championships and is Arizona’s team leader. He holds the men’s best times in the 4-mile race and 8K this season.

The veteran takes pride in leading a youthful Arizona team.

“Right now, those guys are pretty young and they look up to me,” Collins said. “I try to show them ways to relax and I explain to them that I was in the same situation my freshman year. I want to make sure that once I’m graduated, that they continue on with the spirit that I left them with.

He said he thinks the younger runners are on their way to just that as they have improved over the course of the season.

“The team is full of many young guys and [they] will be stronger and better next year,” he said.

As for the veteran Wildcat on an individual level, Collins said he knows that he has made improvements, but is also seeking to get better day-by-day.

“I’ve been improving since freshman year,” he said. “Last week, I got one of my personal bests in my cross country career, and it shows how I have been making good progress. We’ve been training [for the Pac-12 Conference Championships] for two months and it is the big championship we’ve been waiting for. We are going to go in there and give it our all and do our best.”

Collins said he hasn’t figured out what he aspires to do after leaving the UA. His three sisters, including Elvin, have become professional runners.

Collins is currently a business marketing junior and said he likes it a lot and doesn’t know if he wants to pursue a professional running career after college.

“Right now, I’m still thinking about it,” Collins said. “I’ll need to see if I can run competitively [in my senior year]. Right now, I’m not thinking about it as much.”

His main focus, for now, remains on the Pac-12 Championships.

Watch the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships on Pac-12 Networks at 10:30 a.m. Friday to see Collins and the Arizona team in action.

Follow Hunter McAdams on Twitter.

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