COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas Tech senior Sally Kipyego became only the second female in NCAA track & field history to win nine NCAA titles as she coasted in to win the 5,000M at the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas.
The Kenyan native ran a facility-record time of 15:51.14 and beat the field by seven seconds. She becomes the first female in NCAA Division I history to win three-straight indoor 5,000M titles.
"I am absolutely thrilled to get my ninth title that is the most successful thing I achieved today. Coming in here I just wanted to get this title so bad and to close the day, Kipyego exclaimed. "It (the race) turned out pretty good and how we planned and I am real glad we didn't have to use a lot of energy."
Kipyego has the opportunity tomorrow to become the most-decorated female in NCAA Division I history by winning her tenth title. The nine titles tie her with former Wisconsin runner Suzy Favor Hamilton.
Kipyego secured her place in the mile final after running a 4:41.89. Her time won the second heat and was the second-fastest time overall. Kipyego will run the final of the mile Saturday at 5 p.m.
"It is actually not there yet, (tying Favor for nine titles) I have been thinking throughout the week about it. She (Suzy Favor) is such a successful athlete and just to be able to be apart of that and tie that record is such a blessing to me, " Kipyego said after the race. "It comes back to a lot of hard work and a lot of people have helped me and I could not have achieved this much success without the support from fans, Texas Tech athletics and so many others. People have sent me cards and sent there support, it has played a major role in my success."
Junior Omo Osaghae qualified for the finals of the 60M hurdles. He won his heat with a time of 7.72 and his time is the fastest of the qualifiers. Osaghae runs the finals Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Sophomore Gil Roberts advanced to the finals of the 400M with a time of 46.80. His time is the fourth fastest and Roberts will run the finals Saturday at 5:50 p.m.
Junior Ozie Okolie competed in the weight throw and her best throw was 61'-9.25". Her throw failed to make finals and was 14th overall.
Lillian Badaru ran a personal-best time in the 5,000M with a time of 16:07.91 and finished in 12th place.
Anthony Flemons jumped 24'-3" in his first event of the NCAA Indoor Championships but failed to make the finals. Flemons will compete in the triple jump at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Lady Raiders are tied for sixth place with 10 points after the first day. Tech will start competing Saturday at 5 p.m.