22 November 2011Terre Haute, USA – Canadian Sheila Reid of Villanova and Lawi Lalang, a Kenyan who competes for the University of Arizona, were the women’s and men’s winners at the NCAA Cross Country Championships at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute on Monday (21).
In a close contest, Reid outsprinted Jordan Hasay of Oregon to win 19:41.2 to 19:41.8 to defend her title in the women’s 6Km race. In a solo effort over the final five kilometers in misty and cool conditions, Lalang won the men’s 10,000m race in 28:44.1.
Reid renews rivalry with Hasay
Reid got the upper hand on Hasay in the latest race between the track rivals. Reid and Hasay emerged from a group of eight runners in the final 1000 metres. Hasay took about a two-stride lead over Reid with about 100 metres to go before Reid surged ahead raising two fingers on her right hand as she crossed the finish. The top six women were separated by less than five seconds.
Reid, a senior who won the 2011 NCAA 1500m and 3000m outdoor titles over Hasay, used a narrow loss to the Oregon third year student in the NCAA Indoor 3000m in March as inspiration for her spirited finish.
“Maybe it was a little naïve because there were girls coming from behind us but I know Jordan has a kick and all I was thinking about that 3K indoors,” Reid said. “That’s the only time she’s got one on me and I didn’t want to feel that way again. It is the worst feeling in the world to know that I lost by that much so when she went I just thought this is it. I had to do it.”
Hasay thought that she had the race won when she attempted to make an aggressive move with 300 metres to go but was unprepared for Reid’s kick.
“I thought I had it. I felt pretty good. Sheila had another gear,” Hasay said. “It sucks... Sometimes there is always that one person. For me, it’s Sheila.”
Reid and Hasay, along with the top 17 finishers, ran under Reid’s winning time of 20:06.1 from 2010 in large part to a brisk opening kilometre by SMU’s Norwegian Silje Fjortoft who had an 11-second lead on the field at the halfway point.
“I knew that she couldn’t possibly keep that pace the whole race unless she was going to run 18 flat,” Reid said. “I was confident that we could reel her in. After the 3km, I led from there. I am so surprised how huge the pack was who caught her and kept on going. There were so many people on that homestretch. I was a little uncomfortable.”
Solo run by Lalang
Lalang completed an undefeated freshman season by pulling away from Iona’s Leonard Korir (KEN) and Cameron Levins (CAN) after the first loop of the two-loop circuit. Korir opened a 21-second lead from the five to the eight-kilometre point and won by 13 seconds over Stanford’s Chris Derrick. Lalang, the 2011 NCAA 5000m track champion, is coached by James Li, the coach of Bernard Lagat.
Wisconsin men and Georgetown women win team titles
The Wisconsin men defeated two-time reigning champion Oklahoma State to win 97-139 paced by Mohamed Ahmed’s fifth-place finish in 29:06. The Georgetown women defeated Washington, 162-170, to win its first national title led by Emily Infeld’s fourth-place finish in 19:44. Defending champion Villanova was third with 181.
Kirby Lee for the IAAF