The King’s reign is over.
Edward Cheserek has finished his career at Oregon after a back injury forced him to scratch from next week’s NCAA West Prelims in Austin, Texas.
“This is a minor injury that could potentially become worse if he runs on it too soon,” head coach Robert Johnson said in the team’s release. “As much as Edward would like to run, it is our responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of our student-athletes and in this case, it means taking Edward out of the regional meet. ”
Cheserek would have likely run the 10,000 and 5,000 at the NCAA Championships at Hayward Field next month.
How will we remember Edward Cheserek’s collegiate career?
Even before he emerged as a star at Oregon, Cheserek arrived in Eugene as big talent from St. Benedict’s Prep in New Jersey. He set the high school record for the indoor two-mile with his 8:39.15 at the Millrose Games and that was just the start for what would be a record-setting career. His 17 national titles in track and cross-country are the most ever for a runner and the two titles that he could’ve added next month would’ve tied him with Stanford swimmer Jenny Thompson for the most decorated collegiate athlete ever.
He never won the Bowerman Award despite being a three-time finalist. With his outdoor title hopes dashed, it’s likely he may not win it in his fourth try. It’s considered track and field’s Heisman but outside of the sport, it’s not as recognized and what matters in the end are those NCAA titles. He also has 21 All-American honors and is coming off an indoor season in which he set the NCAA indoor mile record of 3:52.01.
We’ve come to known Cheserek as a brilliant championship racer. Whether it’s pulling away from a favorite like Kennedy Kithuka in Terre Haute as a freshman or chasing Lawi Lalang in the 5,000 meters at Hayward Field, Cheserek’s closing speed was his signature dagger. Even before this year’s indoor mile, the running world got a taste that Cheserek will be able to run fast just from his 3:36 for 1,500 and 13:18 as a freshman.
Those fast times will continue in his post-collegiate running and potentially in his career as an American citizenship. Let’s not forget that the wheels have already been set in motion for his citizen to happen at some point in the future.
From start to finish, he was everything Oregon expected and more.