- Associated Press - Friday, June 13, 2014

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - 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.

Lalang finished 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 on Saturday, is the first to win back-to-back titles in the 5K since Wisconsin’s Chris Solinsky in 2006-07

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.

Cheserek was vying to become just 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.

In the team standings, Oregon’s men led with 53 points, followed by Florida with 28.

The Ducks went into the meet ranked No. 1 in the nation by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Oregon has won eight straight Pac-12 titles and claimed the NCAA indoor championship, but the team hasn’t won an outdoor title since 1984.

Second-ranked Florida and third-ranked Texas A&M; were the co-champions last year, when the outdoor championships were also held at Hayward Field.

Oregon also tops the team standings on the women’s side with 43 points, followed by Texas A&M; with 41. Texas is ranked No. 1 by the USTFCCCA, followed by the Aggies. The third-ranked Ducks, coming off their sixth straight Pac-12 title, have not won an outdoor team title since 1985. Kansas is the defending women’s champion.

Bromell is the first freshman to win the 100 since Florida State’s Walter Dix in 2005. FSU senior Dentarius Locke, who had the nation’s fastest time going into the championships, was second in the sprint race.

Story Continues →