The Dreams Of A Kenyan High School Runner

Edward Cheserek is a long way from home, but dreams to someday run for the United States. Photo:Star-Ledger

He came to New Jersey and ran the fastest high school 5K in the state’s history.

Edward Cheserek is far from home. Originally from the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, the 16-year-old cross-country runner recently came to the United States on a charity scholarship. He now attends St. Benedict’s Prep school in Newark, New Jersey. A sophomore, Cheserek recently ran his first cross-country race, the National Independent Schools Championships in North Carolina.

He won it.

Cheserek proceeded to then win the New Jersey prep championships, the New Jersey Catholic Track Conference Championships, and the Essex County title. At the Essex County Championships, Cheserek’s time, 14:42, was the fastest 5K ever run by a New Jersey high school runner.

Cheserek is thankful for his experience at St. Benedict’s.

“It’s like a dream come true,’’ he says. “I’m so happy to have this chance to make a better life.’’

Cheserek’s biggest challenge in the United States is overcoming the language barrier. “People here talk so fast,” he says. Technology has also been somewhat of a hurdle for the 16-year-old runner who, before coming here, admitted to knowing about television and cell phones, but not about computers.

For More: Star-Ledger

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