Former Jayhawk Sharon Lokedi wins NYC Marathon

Sharon Lokedi, of Kenya, crosses the finish line first in the women's division of the New York City Marathon, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

NEW YORK (AP) — Evans Chebet and Sharon Lokedi, a former star distance runner at the University of Kansas, made huge splashes in their New York City Marathon debuts on Sunday.

Both of Kenya, Chebet won the men’s race and Lokedi won the women’s race on an unseasonably warm day, with temperatures in the 70s making it one of the hottest in race history since the marathon was moved to November in 1986.

It was Lokedi’s first marathon and she finished in 2:23.23 — just ahead of Lonah Chemtai Salpeter of Israel.

“I’m just so happy that I just won, you know?!” said Lokedi, laughing. “I’m really excited, just so happy that I did it here. The people out there, the course was amazing, the cheers, everything. I’m just thankful.”

The 28-year-old was in a tight race before she pulled ahead of Chemtai Salpeter in the final two miles to win by seven seconds and finish about 50 seconds off the course record.

“I didn’t expect to win, I expected to run well,” Lokedi said. “It was a good outcome and I’m really excited.”

Lokedi competed for the Jayhawks from 2015-19 in both cross country and track and field. Lokedi was the 2016 and 2017 Big 12 Cross Country champion and Women’s Runner of the Year.

Lokedi won the 2016 indoor 5,000-meter run at the Big 12 Championships and was named a first-team All-American in the 5,000-meter run. Later that season, she won the 10,000-meter run at the Big 12 outdoor championships and also was named a first-team All-American for that season.

In all, Lokedi was named a first-team All-American seven times during her KU career.

She left KU with facility records at both Anschutz Pavilion and Rock Chalk Park and with 10 indoor and outdoor Big 12 titles in her three best events — the 3,000-, 5,000- and 10,00-meter runs.

Lokedi won the 2018 Outdoor NCAA title in the 10,000-meter run and had the sixth best time in NCAA indoor history in the 5,000-meter with a time of 15:15.47.

In 2018, Lokedi ran a time of 32:09.20 in the 10,000-meter, an NCAA Outdoor Championships meet record time.


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