By Rich Winter
Freshman distance runners are supposed to struggle that first year, right?
The added mileage that high-school athletes must adapt to plus running against 22-year-old, men is supposed to see those freshman struggle, get better and help the team however they can.
For Oregon freshman, Edward Cheserek, there has been no paying of dues, this kid has absolutely rocked the track & field world in one of the most decorated distance campaigns we've ever seen.
Cheserek captured the NCAA cross-country title as a true freshman, then he backed that performance up at the NCAA indoor championships with titles and 3000 and 5000 meters.
The can't miss kid will be lining up for his Oregon Ducks team this week with a real chance to do some damage at 5000 and 10000 meters.
The 5000 meters could be a struggle for Cheserek as he comes in with the 3rd fastest qualifying time.
1 Kennedy Kithuka SR Texas Tech 13:37.95
2 Lawi Lalang SR Arizona 13:43.55
3 Edward Cheserek FR Oregon 13:48.00
4 Shadrack Kipchirchir SR Okla State 13:48.43
5 Trevor Dunbar SR Oregon 13:48.64
Having senior teammate Trevor Dunbar right there tells me Cheserek won't get burned off by a hot early pace.
The Ducks could score some major points in that event.
Cheserek comes into the 10000 meters with the 2nd fastest time.
1 Kennedy Kithuka SR Texas Tech 29:05.77
2 Edward Cheserek FR Oregon 29:06.99
3 Parker Stinson SR Oregon 29:26.87
4 Jim Rosa JR Stanford 29:33.56
5 Chris Enriquez SO Long Beach St 29:33.74
6 Joe Bosshard SR Colorado 29:34.49
Cheserek is only about a second off the top time in the field and same scenario as the 5000, he'll have a talented teammate right there with him.
Win both those titles and Cheserek will have completed the quintuple crown of collegiate distance running.
And it won't hurt that he'll be running in front of the home crowd at Hayward Field right there in Eugene.