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Kurgat Finishes 9th in NCAA Women's 5K Final

March 11, 2016  Birmingham, Ala.  RSS
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Ednah Kurgat placed ninth in the women's 5K at the 2016 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships on Friday. (Photo by Mark Almond)

Ednah Kurgat placed ninth in the women's 5K at the 2016 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships on Friday. (Photo by Mark Almond)

Liberty sophomore Ednah Kurgat finished ninth in the women's 5K at the 2016 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, Friday at the Birmingham CrossPlex, earning second team All-America honors.

Kurgat, who clocked a time of 16:07.18, became the Lady Flames' first indoor All-American since both Heather Sagan and Andrea Wildrick were All-Americans in 2002. It is Kurgat's second career All-America certification, following her 12th-place finish at the 2015 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships.

Notre Dame's Molly Seidel, who went on to win the race in 15:15.21, towed the field through a blazing pace early on. Kurgat remained in the lead pack during the first half of the race, clocking 4:54.26 for the first 1,600 meters and 9:22.13 for the first 3K. By way of comparison, that is 10 seconds faster than Kurgat's Liberty 3K time record of 9:32.67.

Kurgat's race finished in a unique fashion, Friday evening. She was battling fellow Eldoret, Kenya native Sharon Lokedi of Kansas for fifth place when Kurgat crossed what she thought was the finish line. By the time Kurgat realized that she had one lap remaining, the sophomore had lost at least five seconds and ended up slipping to ninth place in the final standings.

Kurgat's 2015-16 indoor season consisted of four races, all of which were notable. She shattered her own Liberty and Big South 5K records with a time of 15:47.89 at the Feb. 13 Husky Classic. Kurgat then swept the Big South women's mile and 3K titles on Feb. 26 and 27 before becoming a second team All-American on Friday.