Cheserek adds to title tally, Oregon men third at the NCAA Indoor Championship
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Edward Cheserek won his 17th-career national championship a day after becoming the all-time leader in NCAA history, leading the Men of Oregon to a third-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Gilliam Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
"I don’t even know what to say about Edward,” head coach Robert Johnson said. "There are so many words that we could use for him, and over the four years, I think we’ve exhausted them all. What he’s done is just amazing, and we’re incredibly proud of him."
Cheserek added to his historic title total in the 3,000 meters, out-kicking Syracuse’s Justyn Knight in the final stretch to win his third-career 3,000-meter title indoors. Cheserek ran his all-time-leading natty total to 17, and won his ninth-career indoor championship to wrap up his indoor career.
“It means a lot,” Cheserek said. “I still have a couple of times (outdoors) to add more, but for now, I’m happy to celebrate with my teammates and my coach and family. I’m so proud of myself."
Earlier in the day, Cheserek took second in the mile to add eight points to the team total for the Men of Oregon. New Mexico freshman Josh Kerr ran an inspiring race in 4:03.22 to beat the collegiate-record holder in Cheserek, who came across in 4:05.42 before bouncing back to win the 3K in impressive fashion.
“I want to take my hat off to Edward,” Johnson said. "He could have sat back and not wanted to come out and run that 3K, because he didn’t have to and had done more than enough already, but that just shows the true competitor that he is and the true team guy he is.
“It didn’t affect me at all (in the 3,000),” Cheserek said of the mile. “You have to be a sportsman. Sportsmen always know how to compete in championships.”
Cheserek scored 28 points on the weekend, breaking the individual record for an NCAA Indoor Championship meet, and became the all-time leading point-scorer in the history of the NCAA Indoor Championships. Cheserek broke the single-meet point record of 22.5 points that he tied last season.
Senior Kyree King put three points on the board for the Ducks in the 60 meters, taking sixth in 6.63 seconds in his indoor finale.
Sophomore Maton ran both the mile and the 3,000 meters with Cheserek, and just missed scoring for the Ducks in the mile with a ninth-place finish in 4:08.88.
In the heptathlon, senior Mitch Modin closed out his indoor career with an 11th-place finish with 5,527 points.
The Men of Oregon finished in third in the team standings with 38 points. Host Texas A&M won the men’s team title with 46 points, edging out Florida (45.5).
“A little disappointed we weren’t able to get it done on the men’s side, because I really thought we could be repeat champions on both," said Head Coach Robert Johnson. "The women were talked about being overwhelming favorites and the men weren’t really, but we still felt like we could go out there and come away with the sweep again. But, overall, very good performances and efforts all the way around.”
The Ducks will have some time off from competition before jumping into the outdoor season with the Florida Relays (March 30-April 1) and the Stanford Invitational (March 31-April 1).