By Clayton Ward
The 2007-08 Eastern men’s indoor track and field team finished 30th nationally, one of the highest rankings as a team for the Colonels in the modern sports era.And senior All-American Jacob Korir took second in the 5000 meter run at 13 minutes, 52.91 seconds.
Going into the NCAA championships, Eastern was picked 53rd overall team in the nation. The Colonels not only walked away from this indoor season with an Ohio Valley Conference title for the first time in 13 years, but exceeded expectations at nationals, Head Coach Rick Erdmann said.
“This season’s performance by the men’s indoor track and field team was a very positive surprise as we prepare for the outdoor season,” Erdmann said.
Eastern topped state rivals Louisville, Kentucky and Western Kentucky and bettered nationally notable teams such as Notre Dame, North Carolina, Michigan and Villanova.
Sophomore Elkana Kurgat was one of the Colonels able to qualify for the nationals.
Kurgat ran the second fastest 800-meter time in Eastern history with a time of 1:50.41
He was joined at the meet by teammates Joseph Maina and senior Katie Ankrom.
Maina finished with the third-fastest 3000-meter time in Eastern history at 8:18.08, finishing eighth. Ankrom finished 24 in the mile run at 4:59.38 respectively.
Senior Jacob Korir finished second in the 5000 at the NCAA Men’s Indoor Track and Field National Championships.
Korir was one second behind Shadrack Songok of Texas A&M Corpus Christi and was named indoor track and field All-American immediately after the meet.
Korir is a three-time All-American in cross country and finished sixth in the nation at the Cross Country National Championships last season, but this will be his first track and field All-American honor.
Other honors bestowed on Korir are OVC Male Athlete of the Year in 2006 and 2007, and was also named Kentucky Cross-Country Runner of the Year in 2007.
Korir will head into his final season as a Colonel as he enters the 2008 outdoor track and field season. The season will kick off Friday, March 28 at the North Carolina Raleigh Relays.