EUGENE, Ore. — Slower paces didn’t work for New Mexico’s fast runners this week at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships.
Lobo star junior Ednah Kurgat faded to a sixth-place finish Saturday in the final lap of the women’s 5,000 meters, a race she led in the late laps.
On a damp dark Oregon day, Kurgat, from Eldoret, Kenya and the individual NCAA cross country champion from last November, finished in 15 minutes, 46.31 seconds, well behind champion Karissa Schweizer’s 15:41.38. The meet record was 15:15.08. Kurgat’s best was 15:19.03.
UNM teammate Weini Kelati, a freshman from Leesburg, Va., and a pace-setting leader in the early laps, finished ninth in 15:46.57.
It was potentially a big day for the UNM women, who also got a second-place finish from Charlotte Prouse in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. The University of Washington transfer finished second to Boise State’s Allie Ostrander. Prouse finished in 9:45.45 to Ostrander’s 9:39.28.
The Lobo women finished with 16 points, good enough to tie for 17th. USC got a dramatic meet-ending 4×400 win to nip Georgia 53-52 for the women’s title.
The men’s portion of the meet ended Friday, when the Lobos’ Josh Kerr finished third in his try to defend his national 1,500 title. Kerr also led his race down the backstretch but faded. His time of 3:45.02 was well off his personal best of 3:35.01.
Kerr gave UNM six points, a tie for 43rd among the men. Georgia won the team championship.
See NCAA meet results here.