Edward Cheserek has ended his career as an Oregon Duck a bit prematurely as a back injury has forced him to scratch from the NCAA West Regional next weekend.
Cheserek finishes his career with a record 17 national titles in cross country and indoor and outdoor track for Oregon.
We decided to take a moment to rank our favorite races from one of the best collegiate runners of all-time.
Honorable mentions: Cheserek wins third NCAA cross-country title, Cheserek wins 16th NCAA title with indoor 5,000m win in 2017, Cheserek runs a 3:36 at PAC-12s as a freshman behind Lalang; Cheserek anchors Oregon to the DMR win at the 2015 Penn Relays; Cheserek runs 7:40 at the 2016 Millrose Games vs. pros.
5. Cheserek wins 2015 NCAA indoor mile over Christian Soratos
There was a lot of hype around this race due to the surprising success of Christian Soratos at Montana State and some doubt surrounding Cheserek. We got the battle that we wanted when they squared off in Fayetteville for the 20165 NCAA Indoor Championship Mile. After a slow start, Soratos made his move with a 53-second split from 609 to 1,0009 meters and pushed the pace for the duel that everyone wanted. BUT…Cheserek still had the wheels and closed with a 2:19.45 for the final 1,000m.
He also went on to win the 3,000m because Edward Cheserek does Edward Cheserek things.
4. Cheserek anchors Oregon to the NCAA DMR title and splits 3:52 as the anchor
Less than 35 minutes after winning the NCAA 5,000m title at the 2016 NCAA Indoor Championships, Cheserek hit the track again to help anchor the Ducks to a DMR title. He did not disappoint. When he received the baton he out-kicked Izaic Yorks, the fastest American collegiate miler (3:53.89), for the win. Cheserek split a 3:52.84!
3. Cheserek upsets Kithuka as a freshman
This race helped put Cheserek on the map as a freshman at Oregon. He came in as a top recruit out of New Jersey but stunned many as he upset the undefeated Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech. Kithuka was 14-for-14 and had about a five-second lead on Cheserek at 7K. Cheserek made his move with 1K remaining and pulled away for the victory in sloppy conditions in Terre Haute.
2. Cheserek sets collegiate mile record 3:52.01
There may have been professional athletes in the race but this was more of an attempt to see Cheserek vs. the clock and he still came away with an overall victory. Cheserek passed on competing at MPSF meet in Seattle to test his wheels at the Boston University Last Chance meet and it paid off. He destroyed his personal best of 3:56.43 and broke the collegiate record of 3:52.88 set by Lawi Lalang in 2015.
1. Cheserek battles Lawi Lalang at 2014 NCAAs 5,000m final
Bold strategy naming Cheserek’s finest race one that he didn’t win but we’re doing it. That 2014 NCAA outdoor championship 5,000m final was epic. There were more than 10,000 fans in attendance at Hayward Field and Cheserek started to go with less than 300 meters remaining in the race. Lalang responded soon after and the final 100 meters were one of the best in recent NCAA history. Lalang had the slight edge with 25 meters remaining and held on for the win with a tiny dive at the line. This wasn’t one of those races where the field jogged for the first 4,000 meters and then raced the last couple laps. The field, which also included Kithuka, Mo Ahmed (Wisconsin), Shadrack Kipchirchir (Oklahoma State) and Eric Jenkins (Oregon) made it a fast race with a 4:16 split for the first 1,600m…many of them paid the price at the end.
Lalang and Cheserek were alone at the bell and closed in a 4:09 mile and 56.74 for the final lap before Lalang won in 13:18.36 and 13:18.71. Both those times were faster than the NCAA championship record. This race had tactics and time, which is everything you want in a race.