Kithuka Finishes Runner-Up at NCAA Championship

Kennedy Kithuka finished runner-up at the NCAA Championship today in Indiana.

Nov. 23, 2013

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Texas Tech senior Kennedy Kithuka finished runner-up at the NCAA Cross Country Championship held today at a bitter cold and windy Lavern Championship Course in Indiana.

The 2012 NCAA Champion and previously unbeaten Kithuka crossed the finish line with a time of 29 minutes 59.1 seconds to secure his second-straight Top-3 finish at the national meet.

 "Kennedy ran like a champion today," Texas Tech head coach Jon Murray said. "Even with the second place finish. The race was what it was because of his effort."

Oregon's Edward Cheserek became the first freshman in Oregon cross country history to win an individual NCAA Cross Country title with the effort.

The pair battled in the opening leg of the race before Kithuka steadily built the first significant lead of the day. At the 5,000-meter mark, the Red Raider senior had stretched his lead to nearly 40-meters ahead of Cheserek and the rest of the pack.

Cheserek however closed the gap as the two entered a stretch of three inter-loops on the back portion of the course eventually capturing the lead at the 8,000-meter mark in the second loop. Kithuka couldn't keep pace after Cheserek took the lead as the freshman Duck went on to win the race in the final 2,000-meters.

"I ran my best," Kithuka said. "It doesn't disapoint me because I know I ran very well and took it as fast as I wanted too...I'm proud of what I did today."

Entering Saturday's meet, Kithuka had won 14-straight NCAA Cross Country races dating back to his 2012 debut. Kithuka won the 2012 NCAA Championship meet becoming the first men's NCAA Cross Country Champion in Texas Tech history.

He also ends his cross country career as the first Red Raider to win a conference title with back-to-back Big 12 Championships in each the 2012 and 2013 season.

Kithuka captured two NCAA Mountain Region Championships, and was twice named the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Male Athlete of the Week this season.

Kithuka will compete during the 2014 outdoor track season beginning in March.





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