SportsTrack & Field

Lower back strain ends distance star Edward Cheserek’s NCAA career

Edward Cheserek’s chance at becoming the winningest NCAA athlete across all sports ended Sunday afternoon, after GoDucks released a statement announcing the senior will not race at the NCAA West Regional next weekend due to a lower back strain.

This means that Cheserek cannot race at Hayward Field in the NCAA final next month, effectively putting an end to his storied collegiate career. The senior leaves Oregon with a collegiate record of 17 NCAA titles across cross country, indoor and outdoor track, making him the winningest runner in NCAA history.

The coaching staff came to the decision after considering his post-college running aspirations.

“This is a minor injury that could potentially become worse if he runs on it too soon,” head coach Robert Johnson said in a press release.

“Edward has a bright future in running, and I know he is looking forward to a professional career after college,” associate head coach Andy Powell said.

The last time Cheserek raced was at the Pac-12 Track and Field Championships last weekend, where he won the 10,000 meters comfortably. He was scratched from the 5,000 meters the following day.

Cheserek has been a key player on the Oregon team since day one. He has consistently been a double-digit scorer at the NCAA indoor and outdoor track and field meets. At the NCAA indoor championships last March, he scored 28 points to break the meet record for most points scored. His achievements have gotten him through to the Bowerman Award finals for the past three years, the only person to ever do so.

Last indoor season, Cheserek took a break from being a point-contributor to write himself into the record books as he set the collegiate indoor mile record of 3 minutes, 52.01 seconds.

“We are all incredibly proud of everything Edward has done for our program and we are equally proud of what he has done in the classroom. Edward is in good academic standing and will graduate this summer.”

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Romaine Soh

Romaine Soh

Romaine is a senior at the University of Oregon majoring in journalism. A budding track and field nerd, she is actively learning the technicalities of ball sports to compensate for her lack of hand-eye coordination.