The Eastern Kentucky University men’s team finished fourth, while the women’s team placed ninth at the Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships this weekend at Edward S. Temple Track.
The men’s team was powered by four gold-medal performances from sophomore Jakob Abrahamsen, freshman Tequan Claitt, junior Amos Kosgey and freshman Erick Rotich.
Abrahamsen lived up to his billing as the OVC Male Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year, as he cruised to victory in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a meet-record time of 8:55.4 on Friday. EKU has now won OVC gold in the men’s steeplechase eight of the last nine years.
It was Abrahamsen’s second-career OVC gold, as he won the indoor 3,000 meters in February with a time of 8:23.02.
Fellow sophomore Jamaine Coleman was not far behind Abrahamsen, taking silver in the steeplechase for the second straight year with a time of 9:04.5.
Claitt overcame a ripped shoe (which he taped back together) to defend his indoor high jump title on Friday. The Lexington native notched a personal-best leap of 7-1.5 to edge SIUE junior and reigning OVC Male Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year Julian Harvey (7-0.5) for the gold.
Claitt’s 7-1.5 is the fourth-best high jump by any freshman in the country so far this season. He is the first Colonel to win OVC gold in the men’s outdoor high jump since Tyrone Walker in 2002.
Kosgey made a return to form in Friday’s nightcap, winning the 10,000 meters under the lights with a time of 30:31.2.
It was Kosgey’s third-career OVC gold medal, and first since he won the 5,000 meters at last year’s outdoor championships with a time of 14:20.33.
Sophomore Ronald Korir, meanwhile, took bronze in the 10,000 meters with a 30:48.3.
Rotich won his first-career individual OVC title in the 5,000 meters on Saturday, clocking a time of 14:20.9. He is the ninth straight Colonel to win OVC gold in the men’s 5,000 meters.
Junior Ambrose Maritim finished second in the 5,000 meters with a time of 14:30.5.
Other medalists for the men’s team included Abrahamsen, who also took second in the 1,500 meters with a time of 3:49.8; sophomore Isaac Lee, who finished third in the 400-meter hurdles with a personal-best time of 52.83; freshman Timothy Asis, who took bronze in the 800 meters with a 1:51.2; and the 4×400-meter relay team (Lee, Asis and sophomores Shawn Yancey Hardwick and Derayvon Thomas-Randle), which took third in a time of 3:17.61.
The men finished fourth with 114 points. Southeast Missouri won the men’s side with 199.5 points, while Eastern Illinois took second (140.5), host Tennessee State finished third (133), SIUE was fifth (103), Belmont was sixth (96) and Morehead State was seventh (17).

The women’s team was led by a pair of silver-medal performances from sophomores Ciara Scott and Charlotte Imer.
Scott highlighted Friday for the women, finishing second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a seven-second personal-best of 10:54.3.
Imer took second in the 5,000 meters on Saturday, clocking a time of 17:18.9.
Imer, (4:33.9), senior Julie Mathisen (4:34.5), sophomore Haley Yost (4:36.0) and freshman Meggan Grams (4:36.9) went 4-5-6-8 in the 1,500 meters on Saturday to combine for 13 points.
Junior Ann Tum delivered a bronze-medal performance in the 10,000 meters on Friday evening, clocking a time of 36:50.5.
Senior Alena Galertova scored 11 points for the women over the two-day meet. She won bronze in the heptathlon on Saturday with 4,662 points, and she added five points with a fourth-place finish in the javelin on Friday (122-8).
The women finished ninth with 52 points. The Eastern Illinois women won with 163 points, followed by host TSU (144.5), Austin Peay (81), SEMO (79), SIUE (72), Jacksonville State (65), Murray State (65), Tennessee Tech (59.5), EKU, Belmont (32) and Morehead State (five).
Qualifying Colonels will compete at the NCAA East Region Preliminaries May 26-28 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Steve Fohl
Eastern Kentucky University
Associate Director of EKUSports Communications

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