UA's Lalang wins 5K for eighth NCAA title
EUGENE — Arizona's Lawi Lalang wasn't fazed by the hometown fans rooting for rival Edward Cheserek of Oregon during their Hayward Field battle in the 5,000 meters.
"When I hear the crowd really cheering, I believe they're cheering for me," Lalang said, smiling following his victory Friday at the NCAA track and field championships.
Lalang finished in a meet-record 13 minutes, 18.36 seconds for his eighth NCAA title. Cheserek took the lead on the final lap, but defending champion Lalang pulled back in front on the final 100 meters for the dramatic finish.
Cheserek, the 10,000 winner Wednesday, finished in 13.18.71.
"When I saw him looking back, I thought, 'I'm going to get this,'" Lalang said about his final determined push.
Lalang is the first to win back-to-back titles in the 5K since Wisconsin's Chris Solinsky in 2006-07
Baylor freshman Trayvon Bromell set a world junior record in the 100 in 9.97 on the third day of the event at Oregon's historic Hayward Field.
Cheserek was vying to become just the second runner to win the NCAA cross-country championship, the indoor 3,000 and 5,000 championships, and the 5,000 and 10,000 titles in a single school year. Olympian and fellow Duck Galen Rupp did it in 2008-09.
Lalang also won the 5,000 at the Pac-12 championships with a finish of 13:41.44, the best time this season until the season-ending title race. But Cheserek bested Lalang in both the 3K and 5K at the NCAA indoor championships earlier this season.
"It's bad when someone beats you twice," Lalang said.
In the team standings, Oregon's men led with 53 points, followed by Florida with 28.
The Ducks went into the meet ranked No. 1 in the nation by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Oregon has won eight straight Pac-12 titles and claimed the NCAA indoor championship, but the team hasn't won an outdoor title since 1984.
Second-ranked Florida and third-ranked Texas A&M were the co-champions last year, when the outdoor championships were also held at Hayward Field.
Oregon also tops the team standings on the women's side with 43 points, followed by Texas A&M with 41. Texas is ranked No. 1 by the USTFCCCA, followed by the Aggies. The third-ranked Ducks, coming off their sixth straight Pac-12 title, have not won an outdoor team title since 1985. Kansas is the defending women's champion.
Bromell is the first freshman to win the 100 since Florida State's Walter Dix in 2005. FSU senior Dentarius Locke, who had the nation's fastest time going into the championships, was second in the sprint race.
At first he heard the announcer at Hayward Field said his time was 9.99, but then Bromell looked up and it was changed to 9.97.
"I jumped out of the blocks and just held my own," he said.
Alabama junior Remona Burchell won the women's 100 in a wind-aided 11.25, becoming the first women to win an outdoor title for the Crimson Tide since 2005.
Nebraska senior Miles Ukaoma outkicked the field in the final 100 to win the 400 hurdles in 49.23, matching his personal best. Texas A&M freshman Shamier Little won the women's 400 hurdles in a school-record 55.07.
Mississippi State sophomore Brandon McBride won the men's 800 in 1:46.26, and Oregon senior Laura Roesler took the women's race 800 in 2:01.22, giving her titles in the event at both the indoor and outdoor championships this season.
In the women's 400, two-time defending champion Ashley Spencer of Texas did not make it to the final because of a quad injury during the semifinal. Sophomore teammate Courtney Okolo won the title in 50.23.
Deon Lendore won on the men's side in 45.02.
In the field events, Akron sophomore Annika Roloff won the pole vault at 14 feet, 5 1/4 inches; Arizona State junior Bryan McBride took the high jump in 7-5 3/4; San Diego State senior Shanieka Thomas won the triple jump at 45-11 1/4; and Alabama freshman Hayden Reed won the men's discus with a throw of 205-10.
Georgia freshman Kendell Williams won the heptathlon with 5,854 points, becoming the third freshman to win the event and first since Arizona State's Jackie Johnson in 2004.