Saruni Loses Gold, Earns Bronze at NCAA Championships
UTEP sophomore Michael Saruni, the favorite to win the 800m final at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, fell short of the gold, but took the bronze home with a time of 1:43.31 in his final race of his sophomore season.
Junior Jonah Koech finished sixth overall with a time of 1:46.23.
"Sometimes your best is not enough and today was one of those days for Saruni," said head coach Mika Laaksonen in a release. "He is young and unbelievably talented so he will learn from this. Jonah ran his best 800m and gained plenty of confidence from today's race. We are so proud of these guys."
UTEP athletics reported harsh weather conditions in Eugene, Oregon, and it wasn't until the final 200m where Isaiah Harris (Penn St.) in the final 15m. Both Saruni and Koech earned All-American honors after the race.
Saruni finished his year with the NCAA 800m record still intact at 1:43.25 at the Desert Heat Classic, while also clocking a world-best 1:14.79 in the 600m. He took the NCAA indoor title in the 800m run, set the No. 2 NCAA indoor time in the 800m (1:45.15) and posted two school records in the 800m (indoor and outdoor).
Koech ended his year with two C-USA outdoor titles in the 1,500m and 800m, as well as getting an indoor conference title in the mile (800m).