ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Sporting Alert) — Oregon star freshman Edward Cheserek ended Arizona’s Lawi Lalang attempt to win a historic three gold medal at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, after he won the men’s 5,000m on Friday night.
Lalang, who was attempting to win the mile, 3,000m and 5,000m at this year’s event, led for most of the race and no one, besides Cheserek went with the senior here at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
But with just over 300m left in the race, the freshman Cheserek stunningly changed gears and burst ahead on his way to winning comfortably in 13:46.67.
Lalang tried to react to Cheserek’s kick, but was unable to keep pace with the 18-year-old, who in November upset his senior rivals to win the cross country national title.
Senior Lalang, who holds the collegiate record at 13:08.28, set in 2012, finished second in 13:52.83, with another Oregon runner, junior Parker Stinson, taking third in 13:54.46.
In the women’s race, defending champion Abbey D’Agostino of Dartmouth won in a time of 16:20.39 after Erin Finn from the University of Michigan had taken a very bold chance at taking the field out early.
“It’s definitely something we were not expecting,” D’Agostino said about Finn going super strong, following a very slow start to the race.
“I took a chance and it work out,” she added after deciding to just wait on the right to make her move.
Stanford pair Aisling Cuffe and Kathy Kroeger finished second and third, respective, in times of 16:22.48 and 16:23.34.
Emma Bates of Boise State finished fourth in 16:25.66, while Finn faded to 12th in 16:51.10.
Elsewhere on the night, Dezerea Bryant of Kentucky won the women’s 200m with 22.69 seconds, beating Florida’s Kyra Jefferson (22.79) in the two section final.
Diondre Batson from the University of Alabama won the men’s race with a personal best of 20.32 seconds, winning ahead of Florida’s Dedric Dukes, who had also posted a 20.34 personal best to win his section.
Carvin Nkanata of Pittsburgh was third in 20.52.