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Track and Field

Late surge earns Nuguse national title in 1,500 meters

| Friday, June 7, 2019

Coming around the final curve Friday night, it didn’t look like Yared Nuguse had it in him to win the men’s NCAA 1,500 meters title. In fact, it didn’t even look like he was going to finish in the top three.

But with what seemed to be a superhuman surge of speed, the sophomore from Louisville, Kentucky, made his way towards the front of the pack, earning his first individual national title over Justine Kiprotich of Michigan State by three-thousandths of a second. In a remarkable photo finish, Nuguse leaned forward across the line to record a time of 3:41.381, with Kiprotich finishing just behind him at 3:41.384.

But the win won’t be Nuguse’s first national title, and it won’t even be the first he’s won by a fraction of a second — in March, he anchored the men’s distance medley relay at the Indoor National Championship by 0.25 of a second, also posting a late kick to win with a time of 9:31.55 over Stanford’s 9:31.70.

With the win Friday, Nuguse has earned the first victory for an Irish male at the Outdoor Championships since 2000, when the late Ryan Shay finished first in the 10K.

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