Ednah Kurgat's 5K time of 15:48.63 on Friday broke a six-year old school record and a 20-year old Big South record.
Liberty sophomore Ednah Kurgat opened her 2016 outdoor track season in most impressive fashion, Friday evening at the Mt. SAC Relays. She shattered the Liberty and Big South Conference outdoor women's 5K records with her 15:48.63 clocking at Cerritos College Falcon Stadium.
Prior to Friday, Ashley Osborne had owned the Lady Flames' outdoor 5K record of 16:31.00 since May 14, 2010. The Big South mark of 16:26.99 had stood for 20 years, since Coastal Carolina's Catherine Conder posted the time on April 20, 1996.
Kurgat's effort placed her ninth in the invitational women's 5K, which saw Lauren Paquette of Brooks run a world-leading time of 15:20.44, leading 15 runners under the 16:00 mark. Among college runners, Kurgat trailed only Michigan's Erin Finn, who competed unattached (fifth place, 15:38.20), and North Dakota State's Erin Teschuk (sixth, 15:41.35).
Kurgat now ranks fourth on the NCAA Division I women's 5K list for the 2016 season and has punched her ticket to next month's NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet in Jacksonville, Fla.
Finn set the early pace, pulling Kurgat and the lead pack through the first kilometer in 3:07 and through 1,600 meters in 5:00. Shortly thereafter, Paquette stepped on the accelerator, helping Kurgat reach the 2K mark at 6:12.
Kurgat was in the lead pack of seven runners at the halfway mark before Paquette's persistent pace broke things up during the latter stages of the race. Kurgat ended up finishing less than a second off of her overall 5K personal best of 15:47.89, set at the indoor Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash., on Feb. 12.
Liberty will be back in action next Friday and Saturday (April 22-23) at the Virginia Challenge. The meet will take place at Lannigan Field in Charlottesville, Va.