BYU Runner Falls Down, Comes Back To Win USA Championship

Jul 9, 2023, 9:49 AM


Kenneth Rooks celebrates as he wins the Men's 3000m Steeplechase Final during the 2023 USATF Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field on July 08, 2023 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITYBYU‘s Kenneth Rooks fell down during the 3000m steeplechase race before getting up and coming back to win the event for a national championship.

Rooks competed in the 3000m event at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday, July 8.

During the competition, the BYU standout fell to the ground after hurdling an obstacle. The tumble caused Rooks to move from the middle of the back to the back of the group of runners.

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However, Rooks didn’t give up despite the unfortunate spill. The NCAA national champion returned to his feet and closed the gap on the runners ahead of him.


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Near the finish line, Rooks took the lead before finishing out the final stretch of the race to win the 3000m steeplechase title.

Rooks finished the race in 8:16:78, a personal best time. He beat out professionals in the event and finished ahead of Benard Keter (Nike/U.S. Army), Isaac Updike (Under Armour/Dark Sky Dist.) Mason Ferlic (Adidas), and Anthony Rotich (Nike/U.S. Army).

The junior from Walla Walla, Washington has been a member of BYU’s Track & Field team since 2019. During his time as a Cougar, Rooks has earned All-America honors four times and won the 2023 NCAA national title in steeplechase. Rooks also owns three top-10 records at BYU.

Prior to his college career, Rooks was a two-time cross-country state champion and won the Washington state title in the 1600m. He also broke the state’s record in the 800m.

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BYU Runner Falls Down, Comes Back To Win USA Championship