KINGSVILLE, TEXAS – Caroline Kurgat repeated as the NCAA National Champion in the 10,000 (36:34.31) at the NCAA Outdoor track and field championships Thursday.
The race started out at a very slow pace coming through the first mile in 6:43 before Kurgat picked up the pace at 2,000 meters. Kurgat led the field through 5,000 where Leah Hanley of Mount Olive took over the lead. The duo would distance themselves from the field with Hanley leading with Kurgat in her shadow. Kurgat regained the lead with just over a mile to go after dropping an 80 second lap. She continued her pace over the final four laps to win by 45 seconds over Leah Hanley of Mount Olive.
The national title is the sixth for Kurgat, who will look to defend her title in the 5,000 Saturday.
"This was her sixth national title," said head coach Michael Friess. "Sometimes you don't realize how special a moment is when it happens this many times, but then you realize it is special. Watching her win so easily is amazing. Tonight was very enjoyable."
"I was really pleased with the way that Edwin and Welsey raced, and I am excited for tomorrow's final," said Friess.
Vanessa Aneteye finished 17th in the 400 (56.63), and Nancy Jeptoo placed 17th in the 1,500 (4:41.83).
Chrisalyn Johnson battled stiff winds during the long jump. She recorded a mark of 18-5 despite a wind reading of 8.4. Johnson fouled her final two attempts and finished 19th. She will compete in the triple jump Saturday.