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MACON, Ga. – Senior Gilbert Kemboi of the USC Upstate men's track & field team was named the 2013 Atlantic Sun Conference Indoor Most Outstanding Track Athlete as announced by the league office Thursday.
This marks Kemboi's second-straight conference Most Outstanding Track Athlete honor for indoor track. He collected 28 points, competing in just three events at the A-Sun Indoor Championships Feb. 22-23 to lead all track athletes.
"This award is very deserving for Gilbert," said Upstate Head Coach Natalie Smith. "As we see the Indoor season come to a close we recognize how soon it will be when Gilbert is no longer wearing our uniform as he is in his senior season so we are not taking any moments with him for granted seeing that he has set some very high standards in our program not only on the track, but in the classroom as well. We will begin our outdoor season in just a few weeks so we are anxious to see what is ahead."
The senior claimed his fourth conference championship title in the 5,000-meter to become just the second A-Sun indoor track athlete to win an event four times as Kennesaw State's Jerome McKinzie won the high jump from 2007-10. Kemboi crossed the 5K finish line in 14:41.09, breaking his previous A-Sun record of 14:41.56, which he set last year.
Kemboi stood atop the podium again in the 3,000-meter, earning his third A-Sun title and second-straight in the event. He crossed the 3K finish line in 8:25.95. The Eldoret, Kenya native took home silver in the men's one mile run, coming in second with a time of 4:18.06.
"Not only did he score 28 points, he stepped up and ran the mile, which of course is a different race for Gilbert," Smith said. "Gilbert accepted the challenge as he is always willing to step up for himself and the team. Watching Gilbert run his races this weekend as always were exciting however, watching him run the mile really was fun for the sport and for the championships. To see your main distance guy step down and run a speed race gets the whole team involved because everyone wants to see how you are going to do in a different element and Gilbert gave us just that, excitement and success."
Kemboi and the rest of the Upstate track & field team open the outdoor season March 15, traveling to Charlotte, N.C., to compete in the 49er Classic. Follow the Spartans this season on your mobile device, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.