TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Texas Tech senior Kennedy Kithuka remained perfect Saturday capturing his fifth-straight victory of the season after finishing first overall at the NCAA Pre-National meet in Terre Haute, Ind. The defending NCAA Champion blew past the competition en route to finishing 32-seconds ahead of the field with a season-best time of 22:52.8 in the 8,000-meter race.
With the victory, Kithuka remains unbeaten in his Texas Tech career and becomes just the third athlete since 2004 to follow an NCAA Championship crown with a victory at the NCAA Pre-Championships the following year.
“It was a great effort by Kennedy and the entire team,” Texas Tech head coach Jon Murray said. “It was wonderful competition, and I thought the entire team handled the experience well.”
The Red Raiders finished 22nd overall in the team standings while the Lady Raiders, competing in the white race, finished 10th. The Lady Raiders, competing in their first 6,000-meter race of the season, were led once again by newcomer Sharlene Nickle who crossed the line 18th with a time of 21:39.10.
Kithuka’s unbeaten streak of 12-straight is the longest by any men’s NCAA Division I runner since two-time NCAA Champion Godfrey Siamusiye of Arkansas ended his career in 1996 with a streak of 20-straight victories.
Texas Tech now looks ahead to the Big 12 Championships set for Nov. 2 in Waco, Texas.