When leaving her home in Iten, Kenya, Ann Asipan (’17) never dreamed she would find another place to call home some 8,000 miles away.
Asipan, who majored in economics, transferred to UT Martin in 2015 on a full-ride scholarship to compete in cross country and track and field.
Although she humbly says she was not much of a runner before coming to UT Martin, Asipan’s abilities are not surprising for a student from Iten, which is considered the running capitol of Kenya.
In her time at UT Martin, Asipan broke several school records before becoming UTM’s first OVC individual cross country campion in 2015. She would go on to earn the same honor in 2016.
Because of her speed and athleticism, Asipan was also rewarded with All- American honorable mention honors by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association – a first for the Skyhawks.
“We are so proud of Ann and all that she has achieved,” said Peter Dalton, head coach, UT Martin cross country and track and field.
“She deserves all the credit for her amazing career as a Skyhawk. There are many challenges for any student-athlete; however, those challenges become more pronounced when you leave everything you’ve ever known. Ann’s maturity and determination combined to result in her meeting each challenge, on and off the track, head-on, without breaking stride,” he said.
Perhaps Asipan’s biggest accomplishment was earning a degree in economics in December 2017.
“This is a big deal … coming from Kenya, and getting a degree in the United States,” she said. “That’s a big accomplishment for me, and that’s the main reason I came here.”
Asipan credits the connections she made with her professors as a big part of her academic success.
“The professors are social, and helpful, and it has been really good for me,” she said.