The following is a news release courtesy of ISU Athletics Communications:
Iowa State’s Kemboi Claims NCAA 800 Meters Title
EUGENE, Ore. – Iowa State’s Edward Kemboi charged to the lead down the homestretch to claim the NCAA men’s 800-meter run national championship at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The crowd at Hayward Field saw the Kenyan complete a season sweep of the indoor and outdoor 800-meter titles in a time of 1:49.26.
Kemboi, now a six-time All-American at Iowa State, is the first men’s national champion for the Cyclones since Dmitry Drozdov in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 1996. By completing the indoor and outdoor 800-meters sweep, Kemboi is the third Cyclone to sweep an NCAA event, joining Jonah Koech (5,000m, 1993) and Brian Tietjens (high jump, 1985).
Coming into the race as the top seed after a school record 1:45.58 in the prelims on Wednesday, the pace was considerably slower Friday evening, as Kemboi settled into the pack. With the pace picking up in the final 200 meters, Kemboi bided his time on the inside, waiting for the inside rail to open up as other runners made moves to the outside. Finally, coming out of turn four, the inside rail was exposed and Kemboi made his move down the homestretch to get ahead and stay ahead. Penn State’s Brannon Kidder made a charge on the outside, but came up one-tenth of a second short as Kemboi claimed the national title.
With Kemboi’s 10 points from winning the 800, Iowa State finished tied for 19th in the team standings for the meet, the Cyclone men’s first time with at least 10 points since 2010 and their highest placing since also finishing tied for 19th in 2005.
The women are back in action tomorrow with Marine Vallet represented Iowa State in the high jump. She will get underway at 3:30 p.m. Central Time. Field events will be covered on ESPN3 via “Outdoor Track and Field Surround”.