Monday, June 11, 2007

Rebel Wins National Championship

SACREMENTO, Calif. – In a dominating performance Ole Miss sophomore Barnabas Kirui pulled away from the rest of the field to win the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Kirui ran in a pack of three runners for most of the early race before pulling away from the field to finish in a time of 8:20.36. His next closest competitor was Andrew Lemoncello, of Florida State, who finished in a time of 8:27.29. Kirui’s time breaks his own school record of 8:33.59 and is 12th fastest time in the world this year.

“Barnabas excited the plan to perfection,” said Ole Miss head coach Joe Walker. “We had planned for him to make a move with about three laps to go and see if anybody would follow. He made his kick and nobody was able to respond. Coach (Doug) Blackwell and Coach (Ng’anga’) Ngata have done such a great job coaching him.”

Kirui, a four-time SEC champion, is the sixth Rebel to win a national title and his victory is the tenth national championship in school history. He earned 10 team points for the Ole Miss men with his victory.