Feb. 11, 2011
SEATTLE — First-year Sooner George Alex shattered the Oklahoma record in the men’s 5,000-meter run en route to qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships in the event late Friday night at the Flotrack Husky Classic in Seattle. Alex finished sixth overall with a time of 13:45.32 and was one of three Sooners in the event to run faster than the previous 14-year old Oklahoma record of 14:03.38 set by Conor Holt in 1996.
Running in his first 5,000-meter run of the season, Alex was followed across the finish line by Kevin Schwab who clocked a time of 13:47.59, just off the NCAA automatic qualifying standard of 13:47.00. Bill Kogel finished 12th with a time of 13:52.00.
Schwab jumped out to an early lead and led thru the first mile as the pace began to pick up after the first mile split. A number of moves were made in the field as the pace of the race picked up including a lead pack of eight runners that included Alex pulled away from the rest of the field. With two laps remaining, a pack of five runners looked to break away from other three but Alex refused to be left behind, finishing just behind the pack in sixth.
All three Sooners entered the meet unranked in the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) rankings but defeated a number of ranked opponents as Big 12 foe No. 4 Colby Lowe of Oklahoma State was 13th overall and No. 16 David Adams (Nebraska) was eighth. Other ranked runners to fall to the Sooners included No. 6 Ryan Collins of Virginia (21st), No. 14 Ben Cheruiyot of Auburn (20th), No. 30 Richard Medina of Colorado (19th) and No. 31 Eric Fernandez of Arkansas (14th).
The 5,000-meter record is the second Oklahoma men’s indoor distance record to fall in as many weeks after Kevin Williams broke the OU 3,000-meter record at last Saturday’s GaReat Invitational.
Oklahoma returns to action at the event Saturday at 11:40 a.m. PST.
Oklahoma Final Results:
Men’s 5,000-Meter Run: 6. George Alex 13:45.32; 7. Kevin Schwab 13:47.59; 12. Bill Kogel 13:52.00