June 11, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. — 4 for 4.
Oregon’s super freshman Edward Cheserek remained undefeated for his life at NCAA championships as he turned on the burners with 250 meters to go and sped away from Oklahoma State’s Shadrack Kipchirchir to win the men’s 10,000 at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 28:30.18.
Cheserek’s final 200 was a sensational 24.8 as he finished off a final lap of 53.17 that had the Oregon faithful here at Hayward Field roaring. Kipchirchir’s last lap was a 55 but that only ended up making him the runner-up in 28:32.31. 2013 World Championship 9th-placer Mo Ahmed of Wisconsin was third in 28:43.81 as two-time NCAA champion Kennedy Kithuka ended up fourth in 28:46.21.
The race began under less-than-ideal conditions with fairly warm (our app said 79 degrees) and windy conditions (our app said 9 mph). Those conditions didn’t stop Texas Tech’s Kithuka doing what everyone knew he would – push the pace.
He ran the first 1600 in 4:32.64, second in 4:28.70, third in 4:32.16 as the eventual top four finishers went through 5000 alone in 14:07. Oregon’s Parker Stinson tried to go with them but was dropped around the 4800-meter mark.
The pace would soon lag and play right into the hands of the super-kicker Cheserek.
As the fourth 1600 was hit in 4:38.08, and fifth in 4:40.83, the question became, ‘Would anyone make a move or would they simply give this race to Cheserek? Surely he wouldn’t lose in a kick, would he?’
The problem for those dreaming of defeating Cheserek is that the heat and honest early pace had worn down the runners. No real moves would be made. Until the blistering last lap, each of the previous seven laps would be run at 70.00 or slower.
On the third-to-last lap, the big four was reduced to the big three as Ahmed was dropped after he ran a 72.34. But surprisingly, at the bell, it was Ahmed that had the lead (after catching back up) as no one else did anything to push for home until midway through the backstretch on the final lap.
With 250 to go, Cheserek shifted gears and instantly put the Oregon crowd into a frenzy. Suddenly, he was flying. Kipchirchir was the only one to respond and he responded with some great speed himself, but it wasn’t close to enough to catch Cheserek.
The Other Scorers
The eventual 5th through 8th scorers all came from a pack of eight men that found themselves together with seven laps to go (initially the chasers were in two groups that ended up becoming one).
The chase pack definitely was moving faster than the leaders until the last lap as eventual fifth-place finisher Trevor Dunbar went 68.07, 67.76, 66.85 , 64.58 and 61.70 for his last four laps to finish in 28:53.81 (there was no chance they’d catch the leading four as the lead grew to more than 34-seconds at one point). Pac-12 rival Jim Rosa of Stanford was sixth in 28:57.51. The battle for seventh was tight as Colorado’s Joe Bosshard edged past early fifth-placer Parker Stinson just before the line in 29:01.23 to Stinson’s 29:01.39.
Quick Takes #1: Cheserek is amazing. This pretty much sums up how we feel about him perfectly:
Quick Take #2: Cheserek is so good that the runner-up Kipchirchir told us afterwards he knew there was no way he could outkick Cheserek at the end.
Quick Take #3: Wisconsin’s Mo Ahmed was disappointed he wasn’t able to win.
Ahmed, who was 9th at Worlds last year, said he was very confident coming in but that in the end he didn’t feel good enough at the end to implement his race plan. His plan coming in was to hammer things down with five laps to go.
That didn’t happen, but he did go to the lead on the sixth-to-last lap, not because he was trying to hammer home, but simply because he was feeling poor and was tired of running behind Kithuka, who led the entire race up until that point. Ahmed said he had been occasionally clipping Kithuka’s heel by mistake and was hoping the change of scenery and adrenaline of being in the lead might make him feel better.
As for the last lap, he said had blurry vision and remembers next to nothing about the last 200.
Quick Take #4: It took three years for Joe Bosshard to get back to being an All-American.
Bosshard was an All-American in the 10k in 2010 and 2011 but missed all of 2012 and 2013 due to injury. Granted a sixth year of elibility by the NCAA, he was finally healthy in 2014 and raced well, nipping Stinson at the line for seventh place to garner his third All-American honor on the track. Bosshard said that it took the support of his coaches and friends (including girlfriend Emma Coburn) to get him back running fast again and that he contemplated quitting during his long recovery process. For a great article on Bosshard’s long road back, read this Buffzone.com feature on him. Bosshard added that he wasn’t fully satisfied with his season and that he hopes to keep improving post-collegiately.
— emma coburn (@emmajcoburn) June 12, 2014
Quick Take #5: Jim Rosa came into the race with a plan to run 29:00 as looking at previous years he figured that’s what it would take to get 5th or 6th. He said he was happy with the way he ran as he executed almost perfectly (he ran 28:57), but said he got a little impatient at one point and wished he hadn’t taken the lead of the chase pack from Dunbar. Asked about his stylish shades Rosa said that he always wears them in practice and his coach tells him you have to “dance with who brought you” so he had to go with them. He was just happy it was at least a sunny day so he didn’t look like “too big of a tool.”
Quick Take #6: Kithuka told Cheserek to “go” when he passed him.
Kithuka clearly knew that he couldn’t hang with the big kick of Cheserek, and when Cheserek moved by him on the final lap, Kithuka, who was slowing down told him to go on past. Cheserek said, “I think he was getting tired a little bit and didn’t want to slow me down.”
More: *Men’s 10,000m Photo Gallery
*Messageboard Talk about 10k: Cheserek – 24.71 last 200!!! Wow!!!! (EOM) *JoeBosshard 7th Place in 10k is dating Emma Coburn *JIM ROSA – 6TH – Ray-Bans? *Ches. 24.71 last 200. Fastest 200 in a sub 30min 10k? *Ches would have beaten Rupp in that race had they run it exactly the same way and were together with 200 to go *Watching NCAAs and theres too much Oregon promotion *Kennedy Kitthuka, why do you wear a big ass chain for a race that will last 28 minutes……
*Lap by Lap Splits
Place Name Affiliation Time Heat (Pl)
1 Edward Cheserek FR Oregon 28:30.18 +0.3 1 (1)
2 Shadrack Kipchirchir SR Oklahoma State 28:32.31 +0.3 1 (2)
3 Mohammed Ahmed SR Wisconsin 28:43.82 +0.3 1 (3)
4 Kennedy Kithuka SR Texas Tech 28:46.21 +0.3 1 (4)
5 Trevor Dunbar SR Oregon 28:53.81 +0.3 1 (5)
6 Jim Rosa JR Stanford 28:57.51 +0.3 1 (6)
7 Joe Bosshard SR Colorado 29:01.23 +0.3 1 (7)
8 Parker Stinson SR Oregon 29:01.39 +0.3 1 (8)
9 Chris Bendtsen SR Princeton 29:14.86 +0.3 1 (9)
10 Adam Bitchell SR New Mexico 29:16.79 +0.3 1 (10)
11 John Mascari SO Indiana State 29:30.76 +0.3 1 (11)
12 Jason Witt JR BYU 29:40.98 +0.3 1 (12)
13 Andrew Springer SR Georgetown 29:41.96 +0.3 1 (13)
14 Brian Atkinson SR Duke 29:48.11 +0.3 1 (14)
15 Luke Caldwell SR New Mexico 29:48.64 +0.3 1 (15)
16 Thomas Porter SR Virginia 29:50.74 +0.3 1 (16)
17 Brandon Lord JR Georgia 30:11.96 +0.3 1 (17)
18 Morsi Rayyan JR Michigan 30:17.87 +0.3 1 (18)
19 Tyler Byrne JR Louisville 30:26.49 +0.3 1 (19)
20 Chris Enriquez SO Long Beach St. 30:48.70 +0.3 1 (20)
21 Martin Hehir JR Syracuse 31:17.94 +0.3 1 (21)
22 Adam Visokay FR Virginia 32:25.14 +0.3 1 (22)
Jim Spisak SR Duquesne DNF 1
James Leakos SR Harvard DQ 1