EUGENE, Ore. — Arizona’s Lawi Lalang wasn’t fazed by the hometown fans rooting for rival Edward Cheserek of Oregon during their Hayward Field battle in the 5,000 meters.
“When I hear the crowd really cheering, I believe they’re cheering for me,” Lalang said, smiling following his victory Friday at the NCAA track and field championships.
Arizona senior Nick Ross finished third in the high jump at 7 feet 2ƒ inches. Arizona State junior Bryan McBride won the event at 7-5».
Lalang finished the 5,000 in a meet-record 13 minutes 18.36 seconds for his eighth NCAA title.
Cheserek took the lead on the final lap, but defending champion Lalang pulled back in front on the final 100 meters for the dramatic finish.
Cheserek, the 10,000 winner Wednesday night, finished in 13.18.71.
“When I saw him looking back, I thought, ‘I’m going to get this,’ ” Lalang said about his final determined push.
Lalang, who also will run the 1,500 today, is the first to win back-to-back titles in the 5K since Wisconsin’s Chris Solinsky in 2006-07.
Cheserek was vying to become the second runner to win the NCAA cross-country championship, the indoor 3,000 and 5,000 championships, and the 5,000 and 10,000 titles in a single school year. Olympian and fellow Duck Galen Rupp did it in 2008-09.
Lalang also won the 5,000 at the Pac-12 championships with a finish of 13:41.44, the best time this season until the season-ending title race. But Cheserek bested Lalang in both the 3K and 5K at the NCAA indoor championships earlier this season.
“It’s bad when someone beats you twice,” Lalang said.
Baylor freshman Trayvon Bromell set a world junior record in the 100 in 9.97 on the third day of the event at Oregon’s historic Hayward Field.