EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon freshman Cole Hocker won the 1,500 on Friday at the NCAA track and field championships, and LSU took the men’s team title.
Hocker bested collegiate record holder and defending champion Yared Nuguse of Notre Dame with a finish in 3 minutes, 35.35 seconds at his home stadium at Oregon’s Hayward Field.
“Coming onto the last 150, I heard all the fans in Hayward just erupt and it gave me so much adrenaline,” Hocker said.
The showdown between Hocker and Nuguse was one of the most anticipated races of the meet. Hocker then finished fourth in the 5,000.
LSU won its first title since 2002. Oregon was second.
“Well, it feels awesome, I’m just so proud of all the men on the team and the sacrifices they made all year, even socially,” LSU coach Dennis Shaver said.
The top-ranked Tigers were boosted by sprinter Terrance Laird, who ran the 100 in 10.02. Micah Williams of Oregon posted the top time in the heats, running in similar cool conditions, but finished third behind Houston’s Shaun Maswanganyi.
Florida’s Joseph Fahnbulleh won the 200 in 19.91. Randolph Ross of North Carolina A&T won the 400 in 43.85 and USC’s Isaiah Jewett claimed the 800 in 1:44.68.
Oregon’s Cooper Teare won the 5,000 in 13:12.27, setting a school record for the Ducks while also beating the qualifying time for the Olympics.
“I think this was a big confidence booster,” Teare said. “I think the 5K is one of the deepest events this year. Not many guys have the Olympic standard, and having that in my back pocket increases my chances.”
Earlier this week, LSU’s JuVaughn Harrison won the long jump with a leap of 27 feet, 1¾ inches. On Friday, he took high jump at 7- 7 3/4.
Harrison won both events in pulling off a rare double at the NCAA Indoor championships. He hopes to qualify for the Olympic team this summer.
LSU won the 400 relay in 38.48 seconds. The Tigers did not qualify for the men’s 1,600 relay, which was the final event of the day Friday.
The NCAA Championships continue Saturday at Hayward Field, also the site of the U.S. Olympic Trials.