DES MOINES, Iowa - University of Colorado senior Jessica Tebo recorded a third-place finish in the 5,000-meter run on Saturday afternoon at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, earning her first Division I USTFCCCA First Team All-American honor.
The former Division II standout entered the meet with the top time in the NCAA (15:19.43) and finished with a time of 16:14.32. The temperature was hot, over 90 degrees on the track, which kept the pace very conservative and the field close. The pace started to quicken after 3,200 meters, but the lead pack was still tightly packed as no one wanted to go out too strong with the heat.
With just two laps remaining, Tebo looked to make her move. She worked her way from fourth to first with 700 meters left and 'started to put a gap between her and the other top two women, Dartmouth's Abbey D'Agostino and Washington's Megan Goethals. As the trio entered the bell lap the other two started to gain on Tebo and passed her with about 300 meters remaining. Tebo looked to be gaining on Goethals in the final 150 meters, but Goethals pulled away from her and almost caught D'Agostino at the finish. D'Agostino won in 16:11.34 and Goethals finished second in 16:11.37.
The CU women tied for 14th-place at the championships with 16 points. Tebo recorded six points today for the team score and Shalaya Kipp added 10 with her victory in the steeplechase on Saturday night. The finish is the best for the women since 2005 when they placed 12th.
Junior Aric Van Halen also earned second team All-America honors earlier in the day when he recorded a 10th-place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Van Halen finished with a time of 8:50.64 and was only five seconds outside of scoring for the Buffs. The sixth, seventh and eighth-place finishers each ran times of 8:46 and the ninth-place runner, Indiana's Adriene Dannemiller ran 8:47.86. Princeton's Donn Cabral won the steeplechase in 8:35.44.
The race started off slow, which kept the pack together for most of the event. With a couple laps left, the leaders took off, but the rest of the runners were still very close. Van Halen worked his way up from 13th to 10th and if he had a couple extra meters, he could have picked off one or two more runners.
Van Halen entered the meet ranked 12th overall in the NCAA. He was able to improve on his ranking making his first appearance at the national championships successful.
Florida won the men's team title with 50 points and LSU was the women's winner with 76 points.
Although the collegiate season comes to a close at this championship, many CU athletes, former and current, as well as assistant coaches will compete at the U.S. Track & Field Olympic Team Trials, June 22-July 1, for a chance to compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Assistant coach Casey Malone competed early on Saturday at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York, part of the Samsung Diamond League series, and placed eighth. His toss of 198 feet, 10 inches (60.61 meters) was the best by an American thrower at the meet.
2012 NCAA OUTDOOR TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Jim Duncan Track (Des Moines, Iowa)
Men's Steeplechase Finals: (1. Donn Cabral, Princeton, 8:35.44) 10. Aric Van Halen, 8:50.64
Women's 5,000-Meter Finals: (1. Abbey D'Agostino, 16:11.34) 3. Jessica Tebo, 16:14.32