March 12, 2013
TUCSON - Junior Lawi Lalang, a member of the men's track and field at the University of Arizona, was named Division I Indoor National Men's Track Athlete of the Year. The U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) released the honors on Tuesday. It is the second-straight year Lalang has received the honor.
At the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships, Lalang won titles in the 3K and 5K. Lalang came back this season and won in the mile and at 3,000 meters, both in meet-record fashion. He is the first to complete this double since volunteer assistant coach Bernard Lagat completed the task at Washington State in 1999.
After qualifying for the final of the mile on Friday, Lalang on Saturday won the mile wire-to-wire in a meet-record 3:54.74, breaking Michigan's Kevin Sullivan's 3:55.33 set in 1995. Less than two hours later he again won in wire-to-wire style at 3,000 meters in 7:45.94, breaking Colorado's Adam Goucher's previous mark of 7:46.03 from 1998.
He became the first collegian to run multiple sub-3:55.00 indoor miles dating back to his 3:54.56 showing at the Millrose Games' Wanamaker Mile. Three of the top seven collegiate indoor miles now belong to Lalang. His name also appears multiple times on the all-time collegiate 3,000 meters list; his 2013 collegiate-best 7:42.79 earlier this season at the Razorback Invitational is third all-time among collegians, and his NCAA indoor performance is No. 10.
Lalang now has five NCAA Championships to his name, 2011 Cross Country, 2012 NCAA Indoor (3K, 5K) and 2013 NCAA Indoor (mile, 3K).