TOKYO – Former Wayland Baptist standout runner Benard Keter finished in the middle of the pack in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Tokyo Olympics.
Keter was at the back of the pack early in the tactical race, but found himself near the front near the midway point. But Keter fell back and wound up in 11th place in the 15-runner field.
Keter’s final time was 8:22.12. The winner, Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco, finished with a time of 8:08.90. Athletes from Ethiopia and Kenya took silver and bronze, respectively.
Keter, who competed at Wayland in 2015, qualified for the finals with a personal-best time of 8:17.31 in the preliminaries on July 29. Keter’s time was the 12th-fastest among the 15 finalists.
A native of Kenya, Keter competed for Team USA after qualifying through the U.S. military athletic program.
Keter still holds the Wayland record in the steeplechase, 8:42.94, and won NAIA titles in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters. He later transferred to Texas Tech where he won NCAA Division I titles in the steeplechase in 2016 and 2017.
Current WBU senior Che Lara also is in Tokyo, having qualified with the Trinidad & Tobago 4×400-meter relay team. Preliminaries of that event are set for 6:25 a.m. Central time Friday.
Earlier today, former WBU wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock, competing at 68 kg (149½ pounds), won all three of her matches to qualify for the gold-medal match. The 2019 World champion who was a two-time WCWA national champion at Wayland in 2015 and 2017, Mensah-Stock will go for gold at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday (Central time) against Blessing Oborududu of Nigeria.