EUGENE, Ore. – Four Soldier-athletes represented the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program on July 6-9 at the 2023 U.S. Track and Field (USATF) Outdoor National Championships at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.
Capt. Samuel Chelanga, Sgt. Ednah Kurgat, Sgt. Anthony Rotich, and Spc. Benard Keter competed in various track events.
Keter and Rotich qualified for the 3,000-meter steeplechase final and worked as a team to ensure success. In order to qualify for the final, athletes needed to finish in the top five in their heat or have one of the next four fastest times.
Keter, who competed in the Tokyo Olympics, earned a silver medal and an almost-guaranteed spot on the world team with a personal-best time of 8 minutes, 17.19 seconds. Rotich placed fifth with a time of 8:22.38.
“I went into national championships with a goal of making another world team,” Keter said. “The Army has taught me a lot about being competitive and has also helped me build a proud tradition of service and success both on and off the track.”
Chelanga finished ninth in the men’s 10,000 run with a time of 28:52.01.
On the women's side, Kurgat placed sixth in the 10,000 with a time of 32:38.99. Kurgat also finished 13th in the 5,000 with a time of 15:30.66.
“The outdoor championships were a great performance for the four Soldier-athletes who participated,” said Staff Sgt. Samuel Kosgei, WCAP Track and Field coach. “Keter has really set the tone for the rest of the team as they set their eyes on Paris 2024.”
The USATF Outdoor National Championships serve as an opportunity to display the exceptional athletic capabilities of those serving in our military.
“The support I’ve had from my leaders in the Army has been phenomenal, and now it’s on myself to fight hard and be competitive,” Keter said.
Follow these Soldier-athletes who are trying to make U.S. Olympic teams for the 2024 Paris Games on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @USArmyWCAP.