Boise State's Emma Bates Wins 10,000 Meters National Championship
Courtesy of BroncoSports.com
EUGENE, Ore. – Emma Bates became the first Bronco in Boise State women’s outdoor track and field history to win a national championship Thursday night at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, when she won the 10,000 Meters with a time of 32:32.35. Bates’ time is the second-fastest time in the history of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championship Meet.
Bates is the first national champion for Boise State since Kurt Felix won the Decathlon in 2012. Including both indoor and outdoor seasons, Bates joins Eleni Kafourou (indoor Long Jump - 2009) as the only two Broncos to ever win national titles for the Boise State women’s track and field team. As a whole, Bates’ national title is the seventh in Boise State men’s and women’s track and field history.
The redshirt junior from Elk River, Minn., began the race in her normal fashion and quickly found a comfortable fourth-place pocket in the lead pack. Bates seemed content with her usual race strategy until the last four laps where she, Duke’s Juliet Bottorff and UAB’s Elinor Kirk began to slowly separate themselves from the rest of the field.
Bates ramped up the pace throughout the last mile until it was only her and Kirk in the last 300 meters. Bates relied on a strong, late kick to put together a small gap between her and Kirk with only 100 meters to go. She held that lead until she crossed the finish line, giving her a 4:53 on her last mile and a blistering 67-second last lap. She won by less than a second, with Kirk finishing just behind her at 32:32.99.
With the win, Bates now has eight total All-American honors including cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field. Undoubtedly, the 10,000 Meters national title combined with the school record in All-American honors makes Bates the most decorated track and field athlete in Boise State history.
In Mountain West history, Bates is the first women’s 10,000 Meters national champion since 2000. Her time is also the second-fastest 10,000 Meters time in MW history, falling just short of her own record that she set earlier this year (32:20.83).
Bates will attempt to win another national title in two days when she competes in the 5000 Meters on Saturday at 3:24 p.m. PT.