GENEVA, Ohio - Lewis-Clark State College's Jimmy Oribo, a sophomore eligibility-wise from Kampala, Uganda, finished third in his heat in the 5,000 meters in a school-record time of 14 minutes and 58.58 seconds at the 46th annual NAIA National Indoor Track and Field National Championships on Thursday.
Oribo, who came to LCSC via Arkansas-Pine Bluff, qualified for Saturday's finals with his finish. He ran a 4:31.5 in his final mile of the race.
Two heats with 14 runners each were held on Thursday and the top four finishers in each heat plus the next four fastest times qualified for Saturday's finale.
Oribo, whose previous best this season was 15:13.56, ran in the slower of the two heats, but was neck-and-neck with the leaders. Nathan Martin of Spring Arbor won the heat in 14:58.11, while Kirwa Evans of Embry-Riddle was second in 14:58.28.
The second heat had a much quicker pace with Oscar Ogwaro of Shorter winning in 14:45.87.
Oribo will compete in the finals, set for 1:10 p.m. Pacific time.
On Friday, LCSC's other two competors at the meet will be in action as Dave Marks and Fernando Esperanza compete in the 3,000 semifinals. Of the 24 qualifiers, only the top 12 advance to Saturday's finals.