Lalang onto the finals - Tucson News Now

Lalang onto the finals

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Eugene, Ore. – The University of Arizona Wildcat No. 12 men's and No. 23 women's track and field teams completed the second day of competition at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships with two more remaining. The University of Oregon's Historic Hayward Field is the host site. Redshirt junior Elvin Kibet earned first-team All-America accolades in the women's 10K for the second-straight year (redshirted 2013).

On the men's side after day two, Oregon's men lead with 26 points. Georgia is set in second place with 24 points. Texas has 19.5 points in third place. Oklahoma State's and Wisconsin's 16 points have them in a tie for fourth place. On the women's side, Oregon leads with 19 points. Florida, Boise State, Akron, Texas A&M and Princeton all have 10 points. Six teams have eight points. Bowling Green has seven points. Three teams have six points and Arizona is joined by two other teams that have five points.

Kibet finished in fourth place overall in the 10,000-meter race with a time of 32:43.39, the second-best time of her career. Kibet, who also ran the 10K and 5K at the 2012 NCAA Championships, finished in seventh place that year. It is the fourth-straight year that a Wildcat has earned first-team All-America accolades in the women's 10K. She will compete in the women's 5K final on Saturday at 3:24 p.m. MST.

"The race was really good," Kibet said. "I was just telling my coach that it went by really fast. I was just getting ready for that kick and being able to respond at the right time. The last three laps were a little hard for me but I tried to hang in there as much as I could. I'm really happy, it's the NCAA Championships and I knew everybody was good, it was tough running out there but I was ready to go with them. I'm excited for the 5K, my legs feel great and it's the last race of the season so I'm going to give it my all."

In the semifinal round of the men's 1,500-meter race, senior Lawi Lalang led from start to finish, winning heat two with a time of 3:41.03. Lalang entered the semifinal round with the fastest time from the regional preliminaries and he now enters the final with the fastest seed time. It is the second time that Lalang has made the final of the 1,500-meter race, he did so at the 2012 NCAA Championships as well. Lalang will run in the final of the 5K on Friday at 6:10 p.m. MST and the final of the 1,500 meters on Saturday at 2:18 p.m.

"(Sitting in the back) That is not my racing strategy, I've tried and it doesn't work that well for me," Lalang said. "Most of the time, I just like to get out and control the pace. I hope Saturday goes well, that's my expectation. It's going to be my last race in college and it would mean a lot (to do well). Whenever I run at Hayward Field, whether they are cheering for (Edward) Cheserek or (Mac) Fleet, I take it as they are cheering for me. I feel the Hayward Magic too. I've run here without going against an Oregon guy and they still cheer for me so I don't feel like they will have something against me because I'm from Arizona. I know they'll have something for the Oregon guys, but I still believe they are cheering for me."

Senior Shapri Romero clocked a time of 23.63 (-0.9 wind) in the women's 200-meter semifinal. That time was good for fifth place in heat one and 14th place overall, not good for a spot in the final. Romero earned second-team NCAA Outdoor All-America honors in the event. She is the first Wildcat to earn All-America accolades in the 200 meters and 400 meters at the same NCAA Indoor or Outdoor Championships.

In the men's hammer throw competition, freshman Jordan Young had a toss of 209-1 (63.73m) and finished in 14th place overall. Young earned second-team NCAA Outdoor All-America honors. He is only the second team Wildcat to earn All-America honors as a freshman in the men's hammer throw. It is the second time in three years the Wildcats have had an All-American in the event. During the 2014 indoor season, Young also earned honorable mention NCAA All-America accolades in the weight throw.

Pic courtesy: Arizona Athletics

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