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Samuel's All-Time Top 10 NCAA Time Highlights Day Two at Bryan Clay

AZUSA, Calif. – Habtom Samuel finished second in the fastest 5,000m race in the nation so far this season and broke the facility and meet records and five other Lobos put down probable NCAA qualifying times in Friday’s late-night distance carnival at the Bryan Clay Invitational to wrap up Day Two of competition for New Mexico Track & Field.

After tonight’s competition, UNM athletes now have the three fastest men’s and women’s 5,000m times in the Mountain West.

Samuel found himself locked in a battle with Oklahoma State’s Brian Musau heading into the final lap of Friday’s fastest heat, kicking to take a late lead before Musau edged him at the finish line by five hundredths of a second (13:13.29). The Eritrean-born freshman finished in 13:13.34, a time that puts him in the Top 10 in the event in NCAA history and nearly 18 seconds faster than the previous best time in the nation heading into this weekend’s competition – not to mention, 1.51 seconds faster than his indoor best of 13:14.85 from December.

In the same race, Evans Kiplagat finished 22nd with a 13:44.64 time that should also punch his ticket to NCAA Preliminary competition.

Vincent Chirchir took his shots at leading and challenged the front of the pack in the second men’s 5K heat, finishing seventh with a 13:34.14 mark – a new lifetime best – that will also move him into the nation’s Top 15 and the No. 2 spot in the MW behind Samuel.

In the first heat of the Women’s Invite 5,000m, Nicola Jansen finished 26th with a 15:52.03 time that stands as a probable NCAA qualifier and a 14.66-second improvement from her previous outdoor 5,000m best from her time at Bradley. It stands as the second-fastest in the Mountain West behind teammate Mercy Kirarei, who followed up with a 15:49.77 time for eighth place in the following heat – her second meet in a row with an improvement of more than 10 seconds after shaving 10.82 seconds off her time two weeks ago at the Stanford Invitational (16:00.59). She’s now within 30 seconds of Ednah Kurgat’s school record (15:20.06).

Later on in the last women’s heat of the night, Hanna Bruckmayer finished ninth with a new 16:13.00 PR – she now ranks third in the Mountain West behind Kirarei and Jansen.

Earlier in the day’s 800m racing, Gabriella K. Szabo finished 111th in the Women’s Invite Section (2:11.33) and Dylan Burrows finished 87th in the Men’s Invite (1:51.13) ahead of Matthew Larkin (96th, 1:51.71).

Competition continues in Azusa and returns to Long Beach State tomorrow, with all live results and streaming options available via Follow @UNMLoboXCTF on IG, Facebook and X for meet day contents and updates.