DAEGU, South Korea - South Plains College is heavily represented at the IAAF World Championships and Sally Kipyego was quick to get the Texan and Lady Texan alumni off to a great start when she took second place to win the Silver medal in the 10,000 meter run Saturday. The race took place at 7 a.m. this morning in the central time zone as Daegu is 14-hours ahead.
The former South Plains College and Texas Tech standout ran strong and stayed with a group of five athletes when her Kenyan teammate and the events defending champion, Linet Masai, upped the pace with a 71.6 second lap after 7,000-meters. The pace stayed hot and then jumped another notch when Kipyego's other teammate, Vivian Cheruiyot, took over the lead in the penultimate lap to set up a last lap dual between the two for the title.
Cheruiyot was too strong for the former Lady Texan standout who finished just over one second behind to win the Silver medal with a time of 30 minutes, 50.04 seconds.
Kipyego, who now trains in Eugene, Ore. under the tutelage of Mark Rowland was quick to credit her coach for getting her ready for her first ever World Championship competition as well as her first ever international medal.
"He is absolutely perfect," Kipyego said exuberantly. "He's really good at what he does. You have to trust a lot. He's done really well taking me from one step to another. He's a one day at a time-type coach."
Kipyego's performance certainly garnered attention from other elite distance runners as Irish distance star Alistair Cragg posted on his Facebook page, "Sally Kipyego is my hero! Superb run!"
SPC head coach Chris Beene expressed his excitement for his former athlete.
"We are just so excited for Sally," said Beene, who helped guide Kipyego to an undefeated junior college career that included multiple championships. "A Silver medal at the World Championships is just such a huge accomplishment and I think it is exciting for South Plains College to be represented by Sally at the World level. She will always be a Lady Texan and part of the SPC family."
In all, South Plains College is represented with eight athletes at the IAAF World Championships including Kipyego. Rondell Bartholomew and Renny Quow will be the next athletes with SPC ties to compete in Daegu. Both former Texans will toe the line at 9 p.m. tonight (CST) in the first of five sections of the men's 400 meter dash. Quow will lineup in lane one, while Bartholomew has been assigned lane three. Bartholomew's time of 44.65 seconds is the second fastest time run in the World this year.
Jura Levy is slated to run in the 100 meters at 10:10 p.m. (CST).
Tomorrow, Isa Phillips will compete in the opening round of the men's 400 meter hurdles. Andrae Williams and Latoy Williams each expect to compete on the Bahamian 4x400 meter relay team later in the championships.Information obtained from the Eugene Register-Guard was used in this report
Rondell Bartholomew Grenada M 400 9:00 PM (CST) Aug. 27
Sally Kipyego Kenya W 10,000 SILVER MEDAL
Jura Levy Jamaica W 100, 4x100 10:10 PM (CST) Aug. 27
Isa Phillips Jamaica M 400 hurdles 9:30 PM (CST) Aug. 28
Renny Quow Trinidad M 400 9:00 PM (CST) Aug. 27
Janelle Redhead Grenada W 200
Andrae Williams Bahamas M 4x4
Latoy Williams Bahamas M 4x4