Tulsa’s Marc Scott Wins 2017 NCAA 10K Title Just Two Days After Being Hospitalized for a “Mini-Seizure”

By LetsRun.com
June 7, 2017

EUGENE, Ore. — With three-time NCAA 10,000 champ Edward Cheserek out with injury, the 2017 NCAA 10,000 title was there for the taking tonight at Hayward Field and the one who took advantage of Cheserek’s absence was Tulsa’s Marc Scott. Scott, a 23-year-old Brit, certainly was deserving of the title as he’d come close before, having finished second indoors to Cheserek in the 5000 and third in the 3000 behind Cheserek and Justyn Knight. After the race, Scott revealed he had to be hospitalized in Eugene due to a seizure he suffered on a run on Monday, making his run tonight even more impressive.

Marc Scott, after his win Marc Scott, after his win

Scott, who came into the field as our pre-race favorite and with the #2 time in the NCAA (28:07.97), was utterly dominant over the final 250 as once he took the lead, he never looked back. Scott won convincingly in 29:01.54 thanks to a 55.44 final 400 as BYU’s Rory Linkletter (20-year-old Canadian, 76th at World XC this year) moved from 5th to 2nd (29:02.96) on the last lap. Butler’s Erik Peterson took top American honors in third in 29:04.74, France’s Arsène Guillorel of Samford was fourth in 29:05.27 and Navy’s Lucas Stalnaker was fifth in 29:08.81.

Considering the winning time was over 29 minutes, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn the opening stages of the race were tactical. Scott ran a big negative split as his first 5000 was run in 14:54 and his second 5000 in 14:07. There were 18 guys in the lead pack with a mile to go, and at that point, each of the final four laps of the race got progressively faster as Scott closed in 68.48, 67.50, 63.45, and 55.44. At the bell, the leading trio of Peterson, Scott, Guillorel had a small gap on everyone else.

Article continues below player.

Alabama’s Alfred Chelanga, who came into the race as the NCAA leader at 28:04.95, failed to score as he finished 11th (29:12.34) after being passed by five guys over the final 100.

Results and quick take analysis appear below.

Results (full lap-by-lap splits)

Place   Athlete   Affiliation Time            
1 Marc SCOTT SR Tulsa 29:01.54            
2 Rory LINKLETTER SO BYU 29:02.96            
3 Erik PETERSON SR Butler 29:04.74            
4 Arsène GUILLOREL JR Samford 29:05.27            
5 Lucas STALNAKER SR Navy 29:08.81            
6 Gilbert KIRUI SO Iona 29:09.42            
7 Matthew BAXTER SR Northern Arizona 29:09.83            
8 Luke TRAYNOR SR Tulsa 29:10.58            
9 Reed FISCHER SR Drake 29:10.76            
10 Jerrell MOCK JR Colorado St. 29:11.27            
11 Alfred CHELANGA JR Alabama 29:12.34            
12 Grant FISCHER JR Colorado St. 29:17.57            
13 Tanner ANDERSON FR Oregon 29:21.67            
14 Jacob CHOGE FR Mid. Tenn. State 29:25.64            
15 George PARSONS SR North Carolina St. 29:27.58            
16 Antibahs KOSGEI SR Alabama 29:34.13            
17 Clayton YOUNG SO BYU 29:39.80            
18 Jonathan GREEN JR Georgetown 29:41.73            
19 Frank LARA JR Furman 29:44.82            
20 Colin BENNIE JR Syracuse 29:47.09            
21 Malachy SCHROBILGEN SR Wisconsin 29:50.26            
22 Jacob THOMSON JR Kentucky 29:55.14            
23 Sylvester BARUS JR Oklahoma State 30:43.11            
  Hassan ABDI JR Oklahoma State DNF    

Quick Take: Not even a trip to the hospital would deny Marc Scott from winning an NCAA title

Scott takes the lead on the last lap Scott takes the lead on the last lap

Scott’s week in Eugene began in scary fashion. Four miles into a 10-mile run on Monday morning, he suffered what he described as a “mini-seizure” which caused him to stop mid-run (after the episode, he ran six more miles to finish the run).

Scott was then admitted to a local hospital on Monday afternoon, where he underwent a CT scan and an echocardiogram. Both came back negative, but Scott’s stay at the hospital was hardly great preparation for an NCAA final. It took him five hours in the waiting room just to get a bed, and once he was admitted, Scott couldn’t sleep much as the doctors woke him up every few hours to check on him.

This is Scott’s last year at Tulsa, and his last shot at an NCAA title. Even after his episode, he said the only way he wouldn’t run was if he was told specifically by doctors that he couldn’t.

“No, I was always going to be on the start line unless I didn’t get the nod to go to get on the start line,” Scott said.

This is not the only time this has happened to Scott, and he said that even after the tests in Eugene, he still hasn’t received any “definite conclusions” about what is causing the seizures. But barring any further setbacks, he will return for the 5,000 final on Friday.

“It’s happened a couple of times now so we need to try and get to the bottom of it,” Scott said. “But I didn’t let it faze me. I just wanted to get on that start line and give it my best shot.”

QT: This race would have been tailor-made for Edward Cheserek

Cheserek, the 17-time NCAA champion, won this race the last three years and had he been healthy enough to compete tonight, we have no doubt he would have made it four-for-four. After all, he is the NCAA record holder in the mile at 3:52.01 and Scott’s winning gameplan — sit on the leaders before making a hard move on the backstretch of the final lap — was straight from the Cheserek playbook.

In 2014, for example, Cheserek won the NCAA title in 28:30 with a 53.17 last lap and 24.8 last 200.

Scott had mixed emotions on Cheserek’s absence.

“I was ready to give it another crack and I’ve been working on it all year, the last quarter,” Scott said. “Little disappointed not to face him, but he could have been the one to steal my national title, so I’m definitely not complaining.”

QT: BYU sophomore Rory Linkletter shocked himself by taking second

Linkletter’s season best of 28:58 was only 25th in the NCAA this year, but he has a good kick (he ran 3:42 for 1500 this spring) and knew that if the pace was slow tonight, he could do well. And it was slow, which allowed Linkletter to let lose on the final lap — he closed in 55.77, just a hair slower than Scott’s 55.44, to move from fifth to second. As he crossed the finish line, he threw his hands to his head in shock, and after exiting the mixed zone, he was greeted to chants of “RORY! RORY!” by the BYU coaching staff.

“It’s surreal,” Linkletter said. “Dream come true. Hayward Field, everything, it was just magical.”

Linkletter was only in ninth with 500 meters to go, and he didn’t know what he had left in his legs when he asked them to kick.

“I just went to the arms and just kind of was like ‘Holy crap!’ I couldn’t believe it. It was giving me this energy, and I just had it.”

Linkletter was overjoyed to be second and said that he did regret not being further up at the bell but added that he may not have been able to kick as well if he did.

“I probably would have had to expended a lot more energy in the middle to fight [for position],” Linkletter said.

Linkletter is a 20-year-old true sophomore and said that that makes him the baby of the team as many BYU athletes will miss a few years early in their careers for missions. Linkletter hasn’t taken one yet, however, and said that, at the moment, he doesn’t have any plans to take one.

QT: Butler’s Erik Peterson Had Realistic Expectations Coming In

Erik Peterson took the top American honors in third and despite being in the lead at the bell, he said he didn’t think he could win, as he said he felt he was already tying up and knew Marc Scott had a tremendous kick. Peterson said, “I saw Marc right on my shoulder and thought, ‘he’s got me.’”

Peterson said overall he was pleased with his race, “I wanted to be at the front with a quarter to go, so I met that [goal], beyond that I thought I could get second at the best, but I probably should have been fourth so I think I lived up to what my expectations were.”

QT: Arsène Guillorel Gets 4th as Samford Continues to Make a Name for Itself

Guillorel, from Pontchateau, France, might be best known for being the boyfriend of Samford’s NCAA mile champ Karisa Nelson, but tonight he took a step himself to being one of the NCAA’s best with his 4th place finish.

Guillorel did not move up to the 10,000m until this year, but said he figured he would be a better 10,000m runner than 1500/5000. He said he upped his mileage to 90 and occasionally 100 per week this year, and the result tonight was very good. He said he’d like to run one fast 10,000m, but likely that will be in France as he’s going home soon.

Guillorel can direct his attention the next few days to cheering on Nelson now. Guillorel said he knew Nelson had a lot of talent, but he wasn’t sure she’d win NCAAs until he saw her mile prelim at Texas A&M.

We had an interview with Guillorel but unfortunately it didn’t record properly.

QT: Foreigners Excel in the 10,000 Yet Again

Foreigners took three of the top four spots tonight, including the win. That shouldn’t be surprising. Galen Rupp (2009) is the only American to have won an NCAA 10,000 crown in the last 14 years.

It was tactical early It was tactical early

NCAA 10,000 winners since 2000 (bold = American)
1998 Brad Hauser Stanford 28:31.30
1999 Nathan Nutter Stanford 29:11.96
2000 Brad Hauser Stanford 30:38.57
2001 Ryan Shay Notre Dame 29:05.44
2002 Boaz Cheboiywo Eastern Mich. 28:32.10
2003 Daniel Lincoln Arkansas 28:20.20
2004 Alistair Cragg Arkansas 29:22.43
2005 Robert Cheseret Arizona 28:20.11
2006 Josphat Boit Arkansas 28:37.64
2007 Shadrack Songok A&M‑Corpus Christi 28:55.83
2008 Shadrack Songok A&M‑Corpus Christi 28:46.69
2009 Galen Rupp Oregon 28:21.45
2010 Sam Chelanga Liberty 28:37.40
2011 Leonard Korir Iona 28:07.63
2012 Cameron Levins Southern Utah 28:07.14
2013 Lawi Lalang Arizona 29:29.65
2014 Edward Cheserek Oregon 28:30.18
2015 Edward Cheserek Oregon 28:58.92
2016 Edward Cheserek Oregon 29:09.57
2017 Marc Scott Tulsa 29:01.54

Be a fan, talk about the NCAA day 1 action on our messageboard / fan forum. 

Want More? Join The Supporters Club Today
Support independent journalism and get:
  • Exclusive Access to VIP Supporters Club Content
  • Bonus Podcasts Every Friday
  • Free LetsRun.com Shirt (Annual Subscribers)
  • Exclusive Discounts
  • Enhanced Message Boards