Theisen closes strong in steeplechase to claim D2 national title

May 27, 2016

Jonah Theisen track and field

Jonah Theisen

Black Hills State runner Jonah Theisen of Kenai played possum for the first few laps of the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA D2 Track and Field Championships under the lights in Bradenton Florida.

Then he kicked it up a notch.

After running near the back of the pack for the first few laps, the freshman who entered the meet with the second-fastest time turned on the jets to dust the 12-man field and claim the first national championship for Black Hills State during the NCAA era.

Theisen, of Kenai High fame, finished with a time of 8:53.29. That was better than his top time of 9:03.74 in Thursday’s prelims.

He made his move midway through the race and sat in fifth place during the sixth lap. On the bell lap and sitting third, Theisen ran his fastest lap of the race at 1:03.30 to clear the field by more than two seconds.

Theisen didn’t just pass competitors on the homestretch; he blew by them like he had another gear. The winning effort was fun to watch on the YouTube clip.