Cheserek Chooses Oregon
After setting the high school two-mile record at the Millrose Games on Saturday night, St. Benedict’s Prep (N.J.) senior Edward Cheserek has announced that he will be running for Oregon in the upcoming fall. Jim Lambert of the Star-Ledger was the first to confirm the news.
“I feel good about my decision. It wasn't an easy one, but I'm excited about what Oregon has to offer,” Cheserek told Lambert.
His college decision comes just one month after shortening his list to five schools including Northern Arizona, Arizona, Oregon, Portland, and Villanova.
Cheserek did not run in some of the first few races on his schedule during senior year as he focused on his studies and SAT before racing. On February 2nd, the Kenyan-born star turned 19-years old and was nearing a college decision.
He takes a resume with eight national titles, with the most recent being the 2012 Foot Locker Cross-Country championship, with him to Eugene.
Cheserek is spending his winter on the big scene after racing at the New Balance Games.
At Millrose, he shattered Gerry Lindgren’s record with the first high school boys time under 8:40 in indoors. He finished 8th in the men’s two-mile with his time of 8:39.15 in a field that included Bernard Lagat, Cam Levins, Evan Jager and other professionals.
NJ.com reports that Cheserek signed his letter of intent at 3:30 p.m. and informed an Oregon assistant coach about his choice shortly therafter.
He joins a recruiting class that includes Class of 2013 standouts like Dan Oekerman and Jake Leingang. Upon hearing the news, Oekerman expressed excitement about Cheserek's decision to join the Ducks.
"I feel like the class we had already was one of the best in the nation and with him it just takes it to a whole new level," Oekerman said. "I think we're going to have a really good group of guys."
The Oregon native has only interacted once with Cheserek at last year's Nike Elite camp. It is the depth of this distance recruiting class that he sees as its key strength.
"The distance team is already really strong out there. By bring us all in, we can learn for a few years from the upperclassmen," Oekerman said. "Once they graduate we can take over, continue to contend for titles, and put that Oregon name out there."
North Dakota native Jake Leingang finished third at the 2012 Footlocker Cross-Country Championships while Cheserek took the title. Regardless, there's a feeling of excitement on his side for the class' potential.
"We're all motivated and when we're all training together I think we'll have a real solid team," Leingang said. "We can do pretty big things on the track and in cross-country."
Chris Chavez is a Flotrack contributor and journalism major at Marquette University. Feel free to follow him on Twitter: @Chris_J_Chavez