Saina Wins Third NCAA Title
EUGENE, Oregon – Iowa State’s Betsy Saina pulled away on the last lap from Wichita State’s Aliphi Tuliamuk-Bolton with 300 meters remaining to capture the NCAA Division I 10,000 meter title Wednesday night Hayward Field.
Saina won her third NCAA title as a Cyclone with a time of 33:08.85. Saina, who became an All-American for the 10th time with the win, traded places twice with Tuliamuk-Bolton before cruising to victory.
Saina, still with one race remaining at the NCAA Championships, will be a contender in a loaded 5,000 meter field on Friday evening.
Wednesday’s victory by Saina went according to plan.
“I trusted my kick,” Saina said. “The plan was to extend as little energy as possible because I still have to run the 5,000 meters. I was never nervous during the race. I hope I can go out with a smile on Friday.”
Iowa State head coach Corey Ihmels showed no anxiety during Saina’s victorious 10K effort.
“I knew that she has so much experience in big meets,” Ihmels said. “I was confident that she would do what was needed to win with the big picture (the 5,000 meter race) looming on Friday. She could have won by more but it was part of our strategy for this week.”
Fellow Cyclones Dani Stack and Meaghan Nelson both competed in the 10K alongside Saina. Stack took 14th place with a time 34:38.10. Nelson finished just behind Stack, taking 16th with a time of 34:46.70.
The Okoro sisters and shot-putter Jan Jeuschede also competed for the Cyclones on Wednesday in Eugene. Ejiroghene Okoro took 14th in the prelims of the 800M run with a time of 2:05.77. Eseroghene Okoro finished 13th in the prelims of the 400M hurdles with a time of 58.71.
Jeuschede, a true freshman from Rosrath, Germany, finished 21st in the shot-put with a throw of 57-06.50 (17.54 m).