Tulane’s Rotich Sees Track Career End in National Semifinals
AUSTIN, Texas –Emmanuel Rotich’s phenomenal career for the Green Wave came to a difficult end at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Mike A. Myers Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
The senior stumbled and fell over another runner midway through the 3K steeplechase and finished in 9:18.20 for 20th place during the national semifinal race.
In the sweltering, 90-degree heat in Austin, Rotich seemed comfortable in the early going, hanging with the tightly packed group of 12 runners. But in the middle of the race while jumping over a barrier on the homestretch, a runner in front of Rotich tripped and fell. With no time or space to avoid a collision, Rotich fell as well and had to get off the ground to continue.
Rotich initially recovered well, as he stayed within two seconds of the leader all the way through the start of the bell lap. But at that point, the earlier fall seemed to take a toll on him as he jogged through the last 400 meters to finish in 12th.
“It’s obviously a really sad and unfortunate way for Emmanuel’s Tulane career to come to an end,” said Eric Peterson, Tulane’s Director of Cross Country and Track & Field. “He has had an amazing career, and the one thing that I know he wanted to accomplish more than anything was to score at the national meet and be recognized as a First Team All-American.”
Rotich wrapped up one of the great track careers in Tulane history Wednesday afternoon. A three-time conference champion in cross country, Rotich reached the NCAA Cross Country Championship three times in his four-year career and was a regional champion twice.
In the outdoor track, Rotich was a three-time conference champion, winning the steeplechase as a sophomore and senior and also claiming the 5K crown this season. He was a three-time participant at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and a second-team All-American in 2017 and 2018 in the steeplechase.
Rotich holds Tulane records outdoors in the 3K and 10K while ranking second in school history in the 3K steeplechase and the 5K. He is also in the top 10 in school history in the 1500 (sixth). He holds the school record as well in cross country 8K and 10K races.
“It didn’t work out today, but in my mind it takes nothing away from the fact that Emmanuel is a great athlete,” Peterson said. “It’s a sad and unfortunate way for his collegiate career to come to an end.”
Next up for Tulane will be Rebekah Markel’s turn to compete for a national title. The senior pole vaulter will jump Thursday at 7:30 p.m. against the best pole vaulters in the nation. The bar will start at 4.05 meters, a height Markel has cleared in seven consecutive meets.
Article courtesy of Tulane Sports Information Department.