By JONATHAN KOMEN

Reigning World Youth 2,000m steeplechase champion Norah Jeruto staged a gallant comeback, winning her speciality at the Kenya Secondary Schools Athletics Championships at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.

The two-day competition set the grand stage as campaigns for places to Kenya’s squad to the 18th Africa Junior Athletics Championships in Cape Town and the eight IAAF world Youth Championships enter home stretch.

Jeruto, who disappeared from the limelight after the 2011 IAAF World Youth Championships in France, made her intentions to secure a ticket to the eighth IAAF World Youth Championships that runs in Donetsk, Ukraine, from July 12-16.

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The Form One school girl at the Unicef-sponsored Mokwo Girls Secondary School, dazzled the huge crowds as she produced a solid run to win the 3,000m steeplechase in 10:11.4.

Upstarts Lilian Busienei and Celesphine Chepteek came second and third in 10:38.8 and 10:47.2 respectively.

Jeruto’s win came just a fort night after her sister and world junior 3,000m silver medallist Daisy Chepkemei won 2,000m steeplechase silver medal at the inaugural Africa Youth Athletics Championships in Warri, Nigeria.

“I am happy to have won my first track win this year. I need to prepare to defend my title at the World Youth,” said Jeruto.

Ruth Chebet, another talented sibling of world cross-country comfortably won the 3,000m race in 9:09.08 ahead of Valentine Mateiko (9:26.4) and Nancy Kathure (9:29.3) as Edna Chepkemoi (9:29.8) and Winfredah Moseti (9:43.4) followed.

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Brilliant Jepkorir, a member of the world cross-country junior team to Bydgoszcz, Poland, in 2000, faded to sixth in (9:53.1).

Margaret Limo posted 2:08.6 to wear the women’s crown, beating Jarinter Maiwa (2:09.1) and Joyceline Cherotich (2:10.6).

In the men’s front, Festus Kiprono lifted the men’s 3,000m title in 7:57.7 ahead of Alexander Mutiso (7:59.8) and Elvis Kemboi (8:03.5).

Justine Moseti (8:19.9), Lazarus Mutanya (8:26.9) and Kosgei Lawi (8:34.1) followed.

Kiprono returned to chalk up a win 3,000m steeplechase in 8:36.4, outclassing Kiptanui Bett (8:52.1) and Kibet Edwin (8:59.3).

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Geoffrey Korir (29:02.6), blazed the trails in the 10,000m battle, beating Rodgers Maiyo (29:03.6) and Josephat Mbathi (29:04.0).

Chumo Rodgers (29:25.0), Hillary Maiyo (29:43.6) and Josephat Ledama (30:05.3) followed.

Joshua Masinde (1:46.2) was too strong for Daniel Karweni (1:47.0) and Alfred Keter (1:48.1) in 800m contest.

Veteran Katui Muia (14:18.3) bowed to newcomer Vedic Cheruiyot (14:11.5) in the 5,000m duel.

Nobert Biwott, a member of the Eastern Africa Youth showpiece, had no respect for fellow students posting an impressive 42.20 throw in discus.

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steeplechase athletes