Jonathon Riley Captures NCAA Title in 5,000 Meters
June 1, 2001
Eugene, Or - Jonathon Riley is the 2001 NCAA Champion in the 5,000 meters.
Riley became only the second runner in Stanford history to win the 5,000 meter outdoor title as the Cardinal junior ran a dramatic race down the stretch to overpower his rival from California, Bolota Asmeron, to give Stanford ten points in the team competition on Friday night at the 2001 NCAA Track & Field Championships at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field.
'Unbelievably exciting,' said Riley, who now becomes a 14-time All-American, tying the school record for a Cardinal track and field athlete along with Brent Hauser. 'I really had no expectations going into the race, other than to be competitive. With 200 meters left in the race, I knew Bolota (Asmeron) was running hard, so I just gave it all I had.'
Riley trailed in fifth place with four laps to go, but then made a push into second place with a little more than two laps in the race. Then in the final 400 meters, Riley fell back to fourth place.
'I'm best coming from behind,' said the junior from Brookline, Ma. 'I get more competitive and excited, and I feel the energy of the race as it goes along.'
Asmeron, who defeated Riley to win the 5,000 meter title at the Pac-10 Championships (May 20), led the race with 400 meters to go. Riley then went to work as he passed Matt Lane of William & Mary on the back stretch, passed Alabama's David Kimani with 80 meters to run, and ran down Asmeron 45 meters from the wire, running the final 400 meters in 57. 2 seconds. Riley was timed in 13:42.51 compared to Asmeron at 13:43.13.
A Stanford runner has now won the NCAA outdoor title for a second straight season. Last year, Brad Hauser won the championship in helping lead the Cardinal to the NCAA title at Duke University.
Riley's victory gives Stanford ten important points to move the Cardinal into a fifth place tie with UTEP with 19 points overall with one day of competition remaining. Oregon still leads with 27 points followed by Baylor with 24.50, Tennessee with 21, and Arkansas with 20 points. Other Pac-10 schools include USC (8th, 16 points), California (15th, 12 points), Washington State (36th, four points) and Arizona State (43rd, three points).
Grant Robison gained All-America honors with a seventh place finish in the 5,000 meters (13:53.13).
Michael Stember gained All-America honors for a second straight year in the 800 meters as the Cardinal senior finished fourth. South Carolina freshman Otukile Lekota, the top collegian in the event, won the title in a time of 1:46.68. Stember crossed the finish line in 1:47.49 on a cool evening in Eugene.
'This was a quick race from the get-go,' said Stember. 'I was a little stunned with the pace. I was ok with 300 meters to go, but I panicked a little. I should have kept my composure a little better. It's tough running four races (800 and 1,500 meter prelims and finals) at this meet, but I'll be ready and motivated to go in the 1,500 meters (Saturday).'
Stember now becomes a nine-time All-American along with Gabe Jennings. That achievement is fourth-best in Stanford men's track & field history behind 14-time All-Americans Brent Hauser and Riley, and 12-time All-American Brad Hauser.
Omer Inan, with an eighth place finish in the discus (190-7, 58.10m), gained All-America honors. Inan is Stanford's first All-American in the discus since Glenn Schneider in 1988. Tolga Koseoglu of Texas A & M won the NCAA title at 204-10 (62.43m).
Kathleen Donoghue also earned All-America honors with pole vault effort of 12-9 1/2 (3.90m). Andrea Dutoit of Arizona won the event at 13-9 1/4 (4.20m).
In the women's team competition, USC leads with 40 points followed by UCLA with 27 and Arizona with 24. Other Pac-10 schools include Arizona State (10th, 12 points), Washington State (34th, four points), California and Oregon (48th, two points), and Stanford (54th, one point).
On Saturday (6/2), Tinker will compete in the final three events (long jump at 2 p.m., javelin at 3:15 p.m. and 800 meters at 5:00 p.m.) in the heptathlon, Maureen Onyeagbako will compete in the hammer (3:00 p.m.), Sally Glynn and Ashley Couper will compete in the final of the 1,500 meters (6:00 p.m.), Stember, Gabe Jennings and Donald Sage will compete in the 1,500 meter final (6:15 p.m.), and Glynn and Lauren Fleshman will participate in the finals of the 5,000 meters (7:00 p.m.).
Stanford Men's Results - Day Three of the NCAA Track & Field Championships (Eugene, Oregon)
800 Meters (Final) - 4. Michael Stember (1:47.49)
5,000 Meters (Final) - 1. Jonathon Riley (13:42.51), 7. Grant Robison (13:53.13), 10. Seth Hejny (13:58.91)
Discus (Final) - 8. Omer Inan (190-7, 58.10m)
Stanford Women's Results - Day Three of the NCAA Track & Field Championships (Eugene, Oregon)
Heptathlon (First Day - Four Events) - 15. Julie Tinker (3,144 points)
100 Meter Hurdles - 16. 14.71 (880 points)
High Jump - 8. 5-5 3/4 (1.67m, 818 points)
Shot Put - 9. 34-0 3/4 (10.38m, 554 points)
200 Meters - 11. 25.45 (846 points)
3,000 Meter Steeplechase (Final) - 12. Laura Turner (10:53.92)
Pole Vault (Final) - 8. Kathleen Donoghue (12-9 1/2, 3.90m)