PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) — This week’s Cardi’s Furniture & Mattresses Hometown Sports Hero is Devan Kipyego.

The St. Raphael junior brought home the individual title at this year’s RIIL Cross Country State Meet, becoming the first Saint to earn gold in 20 years.

“Fall of 2020, he was at the State Meet with a boot on from a soccer injury, that he had, and we talked, and I said, ‘You have the talent to win this State Meet,” said Saints Head Coach Chris Magill. “And he didn’t believe it at the time, but as the season started to progress, he started believing he could win. So, it’s a great story, so he had a boot on in 2020 and won the State Title in 2021.”

Devan following the path laid by his brother Darius. The two-time Gatorade Runner of the Year is a freshman at Iowa State.

“Seeing how my brother did this, how he was a leader on the team, it did give me an example of how to be, on and off the field,” Devan said. “But yes, I mean he really set out to show me how to do this, to be a leader and I’m just taking his advice and putting it out there on the track.”

Devan’s success has already attracted attention from D-I College programs, and his path to choosing a college, made easier by his brother’s experience.

“It’s a lot of working, a lot of researching, taking time out of the day to listen what the college has, but yes, it’s exciting for me but a little bit stressful.”

“Going through it yourself, it’s a great compliment when some of those coaches are after him, but it can be stressful,” Magill said. “But he’s managing that well. He’s talking to his brother about the process, he talks to me about the process, as well. But you know you have to stay humble and stay focused to continue to improve.”

If you have a Hometown Sports Hero you’d like to nominate, email