Lauren Fleshman Wins NCAA 5,000 Meter Title For Second Straight Year

May 31, 2002

Baton Rouge, La - Lauren Fleshman, a junior from Canyon Country, Ca, made Stanford track & field history when she became only the third Cardinal woman to win two NCAA titles in the same year.

'My plan was a little more flexible this year. I thought between 1,000 and 500 meters I would go for it.

On a hot, muggy Friday night at the NCAA Division One Track & Field Championships at LSU's Bernie Moore Stadium, Fleshman captured the women's 5,000 meters in a time of 15:53.91. Earlier in the year, Fleshman won the NCAA indoor 3,000 meter crown. Only Jackie Edwards and Chryste Gaines accomplished the double win national feat in Stanford women's track & field history. Edwards won the NCAA long jump indoor and outoor titles in 1992, while Gaines won the NCAA 100 meter outdoor and 55 meter indoor championships in 1992. Edwards later competed in three Olympic Games for The Bahamas, while Gaines also participated in three Olympics, winning two medals (gold in 1992 in the 400 meter relay, and a bronze medal in the 400 meter relay in 2000).

Fleshman took the early lead in the race, but dropped back to far as seventh place with six laps to go. 'I thought I was in a good position, but I kept getting bumped almost over the rail,' said Fleshman. 'A couple times I thought I was going to go off the track, but I kept my focus and hung in there. I reminded myself to keep my focus and be confident the whole way so I would have something at the end. I've trained really hard, so I went with it.'

Fleshman ran away from a five-woman pack with 600 meters to go to win. Fleshman was pushed by Sara Gorton of Colorado as the two began the bell lap, but Fleshman separated herself on the backstretch and ran home unchallenged.

'My plan was a little more flexible this year,' said Fleshman. 'I thought between 1,000 and 500 meters I would go for it. I knew the pace was slow, but that was good for me because I have a solid kick, but I also felt that if the pace was fast, I would still be in good shape. I had a really good mind set. I was ready for anything.'

Fleshman became only the sixth Stanford athlete (men and women) to earn multiple first place honors at the NCAA's. Gabriel Jennings won three NCAA titles in 2000 (distance medley relay, indoor mile, outdoor 1,500 meters); Brad Hauser won the 5,000 indoor title and 10,000 outdoor meter crown in 1998, in addition to winning the 5,000 meter and 10,000 outdoor titles in 2000; and Jonathon Riley won the 5,000 meter outdoor title and was a member of the winning indoor distance medley relay team in 2001.

'My goal is to always be a competitor and always be in the hunt for the title,' said Fleshman. 'I want to make sure I capitalize on every opportunity.' Fleshman has now won four NCAA titles (NCAA champion in 5,000 meters in 2001 & 2002; 2002 NCAA indoor 3,000 meter champion; member of 2000 NCAA winning distance medley relay team.

Fleshman also tied a school record by winning her eleventh All-America honor, tying Sally Glynn (1997-2001).

Fleshman also made Pac-10 history by becoming only the second conference woman to win the NCAA 5,000 meter title in consecutive years. Amy Skieresz of Arizona captured the 5,000 outdoor meter titles in 1997 and 1998.

Jesse Thomas, a senior from Bend, Oregon, became the Stanford's first 3,000 meter steeplechase All-American in school history with an eighth place finish in a time of 8:42.57.

Cardinal Chatter: Dena Evans, a Cardinal assistant track & field coach, celebrated her 27th birthday on Friday. Evans and her husband, Marlon, are expecting their first child in July.

Friday Results (Men)
3,000 meter steeplechase: 1. Daniel Lincoln (Arkansas) 8:22.34; 2. Steve Slattery (Colorado) 8:26.51; 3. Solomon Kandie (Tulane) 8:35.50; 8. Jesse Thomas (Stanford) 8:42.57.

Discus: 1. Janus Roberts (SMU) 204-7 (61.37m); 2. Carl Myerscough (Nebraska) 202-7 (61.76m); 3.Hannes Hopley (SMU) 199-10 (60.91m); 9. Omer Inan (Stanford) 191-1 (58.25m)

Friday Results (Women)
5,000 meters: 1. Lauren Fleshman (Stanford) 15:53.91; 2. Siri Alfheim (Oklahoma State) 16:00.47; 3. Kristin Price (North Carolina State) 16:01.25; 12. Sara Bei (Stanford) 16:48.17

Discus: 1. Ross Chaniqua (UCLA) 182-0 (55.48m); 2. Becky Breisch (Nebraska) 181-1 (55.45m); 3. Krista Keir (Ohio State) 179-2 (54.62m); 14. Molly Meyer (Stanford) 162-9 (49.60m)

Saturday's Competitiors for Stanford
4:45 p.m.; Shot Put (women, trials & final)Jillian Camarena

7:15 p.m.; High Jump (men, trials & final)Michael Ponikvar

8:00 p.m.; 1,500 meters (men, final)Grant Robison, Donald Sage

8:10 p.m.; 1,500 meters (women, final)Maurica Carlucci

8:40 p.m.; 5,000 meters (men, final)Louis Luchini, Jonathan Riley, Grant Robison

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