By Reggie Beehner
The team of sophomore Elkana Kurgat, freshman Kris Hawkins, and juniors Chris Rengifo and Joseph Maina took gold in the distance medley for Eastern this weekend.The University of Tennessee’s Sea Ray Relays was a four-day event with over 30 teams participating, including some of the biggest track and field names in the country, such as Tennessee, Michigan, Kentucky, Cincinnati and Ohio State.
“The distance medley had a big performance,” said Head Coach Rick Erdmann.
The distance medley consists of a 1200-meter, 400-meter, 800-meter and 1600-meter run, in that order.
Eastern also placed fourth in the 4-by-800 meter relay. Kurgat, Rengifo and Maina participated in both events, replacing Hawkins with newcomer Stanley Mugo.
“A lot of the teams were fresh for the two-mile relay (4-by-800) and we weren’t,” Erdmann said. “Fourth place, that’s definitely a positive.”
Freshman Shannon Davis competed in the 100-meter dash among a field of 50, finishing sixth with a time of 10.2. The only two collegiate runners not sponsored to run professionally who finished ahead of Davis both ran for Tennessee: senior Matthieu Pritchett with a time of 10.07, and senior Rubin Williams with 9.96.
Senior Jacob Korir did not participate in the meet; he plans to participate in a meet at Monistat, California.
Korir put up the second fastest 10,000-meter run time in the nation with a time of 28:04.47 at Stanford two weeks ago. This was good enough to grant him an automatic qualification to the NCAA National Championships, be named OVC Co-Runner of the Week (the 11-time Runner of the Week award from Korir).
According to www.runner-space.com, Korir is currently the top-ranked 5000-meter runner in the nation and second-ranked 10,000-meter runner in the nation.
Like the men, the women’s performance was highlighted by their distance medley.
The team of junior Alli McMaster, sophomore Jaleeca Jacobs and seniors Megan Lavoie and Maria Doerger finished with a time of 12:31.47.
The Colonels will be at Tom Samuels Track hosting the EKU Open on campus this Friday, April 18.