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Cheserek is done running for Ducks

EUGENE — King Ches has run his last collegiate race in an Oregon singlet.

Edward Cheserek, the winningest runner in NCAA history, will not run at the West Regional meet, which begins Thursday in Austin, Texas, due to a lower back strain. After consulting with Cheserek and team medical staff, head coach Robert Johnson and associate head coach Andy Powell made the determination.

As a result, the senior will not compete in the NCAA Championships next month at Hayward Field.

"This is a minor injury that could potentially become worse if he runs on it too soon," said Johnson. "As much as Edward would like to run, it is our responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of our student-athletes, and in this case, it means taking Edward out of the regional meet. "

"Edward has a bright future in running and I know he is looking forward to a professional career after college," said Powell. "We had to consider the big picture when evaluating this situation. I anticipate him being able to run fast later this summer and in years to come."

Despite not competing in the NCAA championships, Cheserek will finish his career with the most victories in NCAA history.

Cheserek won a combined 17 NCAA championships between cross country, indoor track and outdoor track, including the 5,000 meters and 3,000 meters at the 2017 NCAA Indoor meet. He broke the 35-year-old record set by Suleiman Nyambui, who won 15 NCAA titles for Texas-El Paso from 1979-82.

In 21 career NCAA Championship finals, Cheserek won 17 races, finished second three times and was third once.

A product of Newark, New Jersey, he also set the collegiate indoor record in the indoor mile (3:52.01) this season and is a seven-time Pac-12 champion, including four in cross country. His last collegiate race was the 10,000 meters at the Pac-12 Championships, which he won in 29:11.76.

A 21-time all-American, Cheserek is also the only three-time finalist for the Bowerman Award and was a second-team academic All-American in 2015.

His 17 NCAA titles are the most of any male athlete in NCAA Division I history, regardless of the sport. Only Jenny Thompson won more titles. The eight-time Olympic gold medalist won 19 NCAA titles in women's swimming for Stanford.

Oregon senior distance star Edward Cheserek has won a record 17 NCAA championships. [THE ASSOCIATED PRESS]