Kemboi runs meet record at Jim Duncan Invite


Edward Kemboi approches the last stretch of the 3,000-meter run Friday, May 13, at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Kemboi placed fifth in the event

Dylan Montz

DES MOINES — On an overcast Saturday afternoon, sophomore Edward Kemboi shined bright for Iowa State by claiming the 800- and 1,500-meter runs at the Jim Duncan Invitational.

Kemboi’s first event of the day was the 1,500-meter run, in which he was clocked at 3:46.64, a Jim Duncan Invitational record.

ISU coach Corey Ihmels said it was a great place for Kemboi to be in his training right now. Ihmels also was impressed with how Mohamed Hrezi and Josh Heitkamp, who finished second and fifth, competed in the race.

“It’s not blowing too hard,” Ihmels said of the wind at Drake Stadium. “The flags aren’t really blowing too hard, so I was hoping that we would take advantage of the good day, and it was good to see those guys get out and get a good effort in.”

Kemboi said he didn’t even know right away that his time was a meet record and was happy to go out and have that kind of performance. He also said he was expecting to run 3:50 or 3:49 due to his recent lack of training and was pleased with the 3:46.64.

Kemboi has been suffering from an eye injury for about a week and has not trained during that time.

“For him to come out and did what he did, he’s just really talented,” Ihmels said. “He ran 56.2 his last lap [of the 1,500], so he looked great and obviously hasn’t missed a beat.”

Kemboi said he didn’t know how the race was going to turn out because he had not trained for a week, but he said he just believed in himself and tried his best.

“I can do this,” Kemboi said of running the 1,500. “Everybody was not moving [very fast at the end] and I was like, ‘OK, this is my time now.'”

A few hours later, Kemboi competed in the 800-meter run, once again working his way to the front from the back of the pack.

With about 250 meters left in the race, Kemboi put in his kick, surging past the second-place finisher in the final 100 meters for the win. Kemboi’s final time was 1:48.45.

Kemboi doesn’t expect to race again until the Drake Relays, but next weekend, the rest of the ISU men’s and women’s track and field team will be in action at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif.