Five minutes with Edward Cheserek

UO's Edward Cheserek wins 2014 Bill Dellinger Invitational
UO sophomore Edward Cheserek wins the 2014 Bill Dellinger Invitational at Alton Baker Park in Eugene. (Photo by Nate Barrett)

As an Oregon freshman, he won cross country nationals. He begins his sophomore year shouldering high expectations—but says he’s in much better shape than last fall.

It’s easy to admire Edward Cheserek after his freshman year at the University of Oregon. First, he upset Kennedy Kithuka in Terre Haute last November, and became the fifth freshman to win a NCAA cross country crown. But that was mere prelude to Cheserek’s exploits on the track, where he claimed indoor titles at 3,000m and 5,000m in March. In June, he zipped through a 53.17 final lap to win the 10,000m before finishing a close 5,000m runner-up to Lawi Lalang two days later. Cheserek’s big point production was key to Oregon’s team titles indoors and out.

After spending much of his childhood at an orphanage in Kenya, Cheserek moved to the U.S. in the summer of 2010 and immediately established himself as one of the nation’s top high school talents. Attending St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, New Jersey, Cheserek finished runner-up to Lukas Verzbicas at Nike Cross Nationals that fall before setting national sophomore records in the indoor 2-mile (8:42.66) and outdoor mile (4:03.29). Over the next two years he claimed back-to-back Foot Locker Nationals titles and broke Gerry Lindgren’s 49-year-old prep 2-mile record with an 8:39.25 at the 2013 Millrose Games.

Running Times caught up with Cheserek, now a sophomore, late last week, while he and his teammates and coach Andy Powell were in midst of a two-week training camp at Sunriver Resort near Bend, Oregon. Located at 4,200 feet elevation, the facility offers a network of single track and dirt trails as well as paved bike paths, with easy access to higher elevations. Cheserek, 20, is majoring in business administration at Oregon, where classes don’t begin until Sept. 29.

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