Men’s 3,000: Edward Cheserek Is Three For Three In NCAA Championships As He Completes The Indoor 3K/5K Double

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By LetsRun.com
March 15, 2014

Albuquerque, NM - Coming into the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, the story of the meet was Arizona’s Lawi Lalang and his attempt at a historic distance triple in the mile, 3K and 5K. However, Lalang’s triple never materialized as he finished runner-up in the 5K and the mile and scratched from the 3K, and instead, the distance story of the weekend was Oregon’s Edward Cheserek, who came away with two NCAA individual titles. He got an upset win over Lalang in the 5K, but with Lalang scratching from the 3K, Cheserek’s victory was all but assured as he blew away the field on the last lap to win in 8:11.59. Oklahoma State’s Kirubel Erassa was a respectable runner-up in 8:13.08 as Colorado freshman Ben Saarel was 3rd (8:13.45) and BYU’s Jared Ward 4th (8:13.73).

The Race – Cheserek Controls The Last 3 Laps, Blowing Everyone Away With Another 25-Point Last 200

The race stated off very tactically with Kirubel Erassa going to the front and leading the entire first mile as he took the field through in 4:33.74. He was trailed by Oregon’s Parker Stinson, Trevor Dunbar, Edward Cheserek as well as the rest of the field running in a tight pack.

After a slow first mile, the runners in the field began to make surges for position and the pace picked up incrementally as they ran the next 800 in 2:11. Stinson took the lead for 400 after the mile and then with 800 to go Dunbar took control leading Erassa and Cheserek in 2nd and 3rd with all the other runners bunched up behind as the pace started to pick up a bit with 3 laps to go

Then before 400 to go, Cheserek had moved into the lead and started to ratchet up the pace as Jared Ward had moved into second, with Dunbar, Erassa and the rest of the field all still bunched up right there. Cheserek then ran the penultimate lap in 29.87 before absolutely demolishing the field by running a 25.79 last 200 to win in 8:11.59 over Erassa, who had the third-fastest last lap and took second in 8:13.08 while Ben Saarel had the fastest last lap outside of Cheserek (27.09) and got 3rd (8:13.45). Ward finished 4th (8:13.73) and Dunbar 5th (8:14.13) as 2nd-10th palce finished within less than 2 seconds of each other.

Quick Thought #1 – What A Weekend For Edward Cheserek: After this weekend one thing is clear: you should never doubt Edward Cheserek. A shocking upset victory in the 5,000 over 13:00 man Lalang, followed by a dominant win in the 3,000, once again crushing the field with a 25-second last lap. After this race Cheserek is now 3 for 3 in NCAA championship races as he won XC, the 5K and now the 3K. He also remains undefeated on the track in his collegiate career. If Lalang doesn’t beat him outdoors, the question moving forward could be, “Will Cheserek ever lose a collegiate track race?”

Post-race Cheserek said he just wanted to relax until two-laps to go and make his move then. Asked if he was disappointed that Lalang scratched, Cheserek said that he was actually looking forward to facing him again in the 3K.

QT #2 – Slow Even For Altitude: Using the NCAA altitude conversion for Albuquerque, Cheserek’s 8:11.59 is worth  7:59.49. So still a slow, tactical race even factoring in the altitude.

QT #3 – Oregon Teamwork: Looking at the lap splits from Flash Results, you can see that after the first mile a runner from Oregon was leading at all times. Stinson lead for 2-laps, then Dunbar and finally Cheserek crushed it home.

QT #4 – No Shame In Second: Kirubel Erassa was happy with his runner-up finish today acknowledging he just got beat by someone who’s better. Erassa said he saw video of Cheserk’s 25-second last 200 from the night before and knew that kick was coming. Erassa said this race was definitely redemption after the disappointing DMR from last night where OSU dropped the baton and finished in last place as he thought his team would have finished 2nd or 3rd there at the worst.

QT #5 – A Bad Time To Be A Freshman: Speaking above about Cheserek’s future NCAA dominance, a guy who might be asking himself, “How am I ever going to win an NCAA title with this guy around?” is Colorado’s Ben Saarel. Saarel is having an amazing freshman year as he was 8th in cross-country and now 3rd here. He was thrilled with his race as he said coming in that he was just hoping for top 8 or 10, so top 3 was “more than he could have asked for.” Saarel is a super talent and we can expect big things from him in the future, but when it comes to trying to win NCAA titles, he’s going to have to face Cheserek for the next 3 years.

QT #6 – Trevor Dunbar Gets Oregon Some More Points: Dunbar was hoping to finish a bit better than 5th, but was still happy with his race and just wanted to score as many points for Oregon as possible to help them win the team title. Dunbar also commented on Cheserek’s double, saying, “I would have liked to see him take down Lawi Lalang again because I knew he would have.”

*2nd Interview With Dunbar Here

QT #7: NAU’s Brian Shrader finished 8th and was happy to get All-American. He said that he wanted to go for the win in the 5,000 yesterday, but in retrospect realizes that was “stupid.”

QT #8: Iona’s Matt Gillespie was happy with his 10th place finish here after disappointingly getting last in his mile heat yesterday. He said he’d probably be quitting running after this year as he has a job on Wall Street lined up for after he graduates.

Event 6  Men 3000 Meter Run
=======================================================================
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
=======================================================================
Finals
  1 Edward Cheserek           FR Oregon                 8:11.59   10
       32.269 (32.269)       1:09.322 (37.054)       1:44.677 (35.355)
     2:19.014 (34.338)       2:52.554 (33.540)       3:26.172 (33.618)
     4:00.138 (33.966)       4:34.031 (33.894)       5:07.411 (33.380)
     5:39.874 (32.463)       6:12.379 (32.505)       6:44.441 (32.063)
     7:15.929 (31.488)       7:45.797 (29.869)       8:11.587 (25.790)
  2 Kirubel Erassa            SR Oklahoma St.           8:13.08    8
       32.123 (32.123)       1:08.960 (36.838)       1:44.169 (35.210)
     2:18.514 (34.345)       2:52.315 (33.802)       3:25.777 (33.462)
     3:59.783 (34.006)       4:33.731 (33.949)       5:07.328 (33.597)
     5:39.667 (32.340)       6:12.420 (32.754)       6:44.529 (32.109)
     7:16.125 (31.597)       7:45.852 (29.727)       8:13.077 (27.225)
  3 Ben Saarel                FR Colorado               8:13.45    6
       32.508 (32.508)       1:09.967 (37.460)       1:45.241 (35.275)
     2:19.539 (34.299)       2:53.081 (33.542)       3:26.791 (33.710)
     4:00.786 (33.995)       4:34.551 (33.765)       5:08.029 (33.479)
     5:40.315 (32.286)       6:13.277 (32.962)       6:45.137 (31.860)
     7:16.475 (31.339)       7:46.354 (29.879)       8:13.443 (27.090)
  4 Jared Ward                SR BYU                    8:13.73    5
       32.362 (32.362)       1:09.533 (37.171)       1:45.027 (35.495)
     2:19.024 (33.997)       2:52.915 (33.892)       3:26.564 (33.650)
     4:00.537 (33.973)       4:34.334 (33.798)       5:07.818 (33.484)
     5:40.128 (32.310)       6:13.310 (33.183)       6:44.824 (31.514)
     7:16.068 (31.245)       7:46.049 (29.981)       8:13.729 (27.681)
  5 Trevor Dunbar             SR Oregon                 8:14.13    4
       32.626 (32.626)       1:09.838 (37.212)       1:45.511 (35.674)
     2:19.703 (34.192)       2:53.222 (33.520)       3:26.854 (33.632)
     4:00.514 (33.661)       4:33.917 (33.403)       5:07.454 (33.537)
     5:39.794 (32.341)       6:12.206 (32.412)       6:44.330 (32.125)
     7:15.969 (31.640)       7:46.733 (30.764)       8:14.122 (27.390)
  6 John Simons               SR Minnesota              8:14.40    3
       32.531 (32.531)       1:09.625 (37.095)       1:44.953 (35.328)
     2:19.346 (34.394)       2:52.781 (33.435)       3:26.444 (33.663)
     4:00.366 (33.923)       4:34.183 (33.817)       5:07.673 (33.490)
     5:40.194 (32.522)       6:12.644 (32.450)       6:44.644 (32.001)
     7:16.173 (31.529)       7:46.174 (30.001)       8:14.394 (28.220)
  7 Erik Olson                JR Stanford               8:14.77    2
       33.014 (33.014)       1:10.208 (37.194)       1:45.694 (35.487)
     2:19.855 (34.161)       2:53.448 (33.593)       3:27.096 (33.649)
     4:01.117 (34.021)       4:34.899 (33.782)       5:08.211 (33.313)
     5:40.499 (32.288)       6:13.422 (32.924)       6:45.324 (31.903)
     7:16.672 (31.348)       7:47.006 (30.335)       8:14.767 (27.761)
  8 Brian Shrader             JR N. Arizona             8:14.84    1
       33.691 (33.691)       1:11.303 (37.612)       1:46.343 (35.040)
     2:20.451 (34.109)       2:53.926 (33.475)       3:27.763 (33.837)
     4:01.511 (33.749)       4:35.075 (33.565)       5:08.455 (33.380)
     5:40.845 (32.390)       6:13.099 (32.254)       6:44.953 (31.855)
     7:16.369 (31.416)       7:46.558 (30.190)       8:14.839 (28.282)
  9 Reed Connor               SR Wisconsin              8:15.17
       33.193 (33.193)       1:10.474 (37.281)       1:45.834 (35.360)
     2:20.093 (34.260)       2:53.572 (33.480)       3:27.287 (33.715)
     4:00.987 (33.700)       4:34.699 (33.712)       5:08.282 (33.584)
     5:40.978 (32.696)       6:13.583 (32.605)       6:45.533 (31.950)
     7:17.124 (31.591)       7:47.669 (30.545)       8:15.168 (27.500)
 10 Matthew Gillespie         SR Iona                   8:15.38
       32.652 (32.652)       1:10.287 (37.635)       1:45.999 (35.713)
     2:19.430 (33.431)       2:52.751 (33.321)       3:26.304 (33.554)
     4:00.269 (33.965)       4:34.118 (33.850)       5:07.543 (33.425)
     5:39.848 (32.305)       6:12.882 (33.035)       6:45.201 (32.320)
     7:16.920 (31.720)       7:47.760 (30.840)       8:15.377 (27.617)
 11 Parker Stinson            JR Oregon                 8:15.81
       32.847 (32.847)       1:10.603 (37.756)       1:44.429 (33.827)
     2:18.766 (34.337)       2:52.595 (33.830)       3:25.978 (33.383)
     4:00.019 (34.042)       4:33.935 (33.916)       5:07.245 (33.310)
     5:39.563 (32.318)       6:13.177 (33.615)       6:44.594 (31.418)
     7:16.313 (31.719)       7:46.524 (30.212)       8:15.808 (29.284)
 12 Jake Hurysz               SR Colorado               8:18.57
       32.804 (32.804)       1:10.003 (37.199)       1:44.779 (34.776)
     2:19.195 (34.417)       2:52.883 (33.688)       3:26.659 (33.776)
     4:00.618 (33.960)       4:34.389 (33.772)       5:07.627 (33.238)
     5:40.029 (32.403)       6:12.924 (32.895)       6:44.848 (31.924)
     7:16.512 (31.665)       7:47.394 (30.883)       8:18.570 (31.176)
 13 Caleb Rhynard             SO Michigan State         8:19.80
       33.390 (33.390)       1:10.851 (37.461)       1:46.094 (35.243)
     2:20.140 (34.047)       2:53.719 (33.580)       3:27.379 (33.660)
     4:01.169 (33.790)       4:34.849 (33.681)       5:08.254 (33.405)
     5:40.724 (32.470)       6:13.764 (33.041)       6:45.825 (32.061)
     7:17.624 (31.799)       7:48.809 (31.185)       8:19.800 (30.992)
 14 Maksim Korolev            SR Harvard                8:28.55
       33.144 (33.144)       1:10.795 (37.651)       1:46.194 (35.400)
     2:20.198 (34.004)       2:53.684 (33.487)       3:27.566 (33.882)
     4:01.373 (33.807)       4:34.444 (33.072)       5:07.811 (33.367)
     5:40.486 (32.675)       6:14.029 (33.543)       6:46.604 (32.575)
     7:20.551 (33.948)       7:54.722 (34.171)       8:28.549 (33.827)
 -- Rich Peters               JR Boston U.                  DNF
       33.428 (33.428)       1:11.039 (37.611)       1:46.429 (35.391)
     2:20.679 (34.250)       2:54.197 (33.519)       3:27.978 (33.781)
     4:01.819 (33.841)       4:35.491 (33.673)       5:08.801 (33.310)
     5:42.304 (33.504)       6:16.766 (34.462)