Kiprotich Finishes Second in 1,500m at NCAA Track & Field Championships
Sophomore Justine Kiprotich earns first-team All-American honors in his finals debut.
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EUGENE, Ore. – Michigan State track & field sophomore Justine Kiprotich earned All-American accolades by finishing second in the 1,500m Friday at the NCAA Track & Field Championships at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. Kiprotich moved from third to second in the closing seconds of the race, clocking in at 3:43.50.
New Mexico’s Josh Kerr won the gold medal with a time of 3:43.03. Mississippi’s Craig Engels finished third with a time of 3:43.54.
“It felt awesome with 400m to go. With 300m to go, I made my move and I was feeling great with that move. I am so excited, and I want to be in this position in every championship. It has been quite a journey,” Kiprotich said. “I am sad that it is over; it is bittersweet. I am happy with everything that I have accomplished because it’s my sophomore season. It is so amazing to represent the Green and White. Go Green!”
With 30m remaining in the race, Kiprotich had a solid hold on third place. He seemingly shifted into another gear to make a run for second place.
“I was almost settling for third, but I felt kind of good, so I was like ‘I might as well give it another gear and see what happens’ and it was good,” Kiprotich said.
Kiprotich becomes the first Spartan to earn first-team All-American honor at this year’s outdoor championships. Juniors Noah Gary and Tim Ehrhardt were named second-team All-Americans in the pole vault and decathlon, respectively. On the women’s side, senior Hannah Sailar (pole vault) and junior Jade Madison (javelin) were named third-team All-Americans.
“It was a little nerve-wracking, although at some point you have to turn it over to him and trust him. He has come so far in such a little time. Last year he didn’t make it out of the preliminary round in Florida, and sort of ran out of gas. So to be here and perform that well in the final, it is remarkable how much he has matured,” MSU Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Walt Drenth said. “We had a plan, and he had a lot of confidence in what he was going to do at the end. I think he did a nice job.”
The sophomore has had a solid end to his season, winning the Big Ten Championship in the 1,500 in May. His run Friday was just shy of his personal-best time of 3:42.36 at the Virginia Challenge in April.
Florida won the men’s title with 61.5 points. Michigan State finished tied for 33rd with eight points.
The Spartans conclude action on Saturday, June 10, with one athlete in action. Junior Katelyn Daniels will be competing in her third-straight NCAA Championship in the discus. The discus will begin at 6:05 p.m. (ET).
Saturday’s action will be on the ESPN’s family of networks, fans should check local listings for complete broadcast information.