Samia Akbar won the women's 5,000-meters and placed second in the 1,500-meters. (Photo courtesy New York Road Runners)
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Samia Akbar added the Patriot League Outdoor Track and Field 5,000-meter title to her indoor 5,000 title today at Lehigh University. The American women's track and field team added two school records Saturday to the 4x800-meter school record set on Friday.
Akbar won the 5,000-meters by nearly ten seconds in 17:13.81. Bucknell's Becki Marshall took the lead early in the race as Akbar followed closely. The duo ran 5:26 for the first mile as they put a sizeable lead on the rest of the field. Marshall continued to lead the race through the second mile in 5:38. With 600-meters to go in the race, Akbar began her kick and passed Marshall. Akbar pulled away from Marshall and cruised to the victory.
Earlier in the day, Akbar ran in the 1,500-meters. As it was for most of the races in the meet, the pack was grouped tightly for the beginning of the race. Colgate's Jennifer McCarthy, Lafayette's Lauren McHale and Akbar led the way through the early part of the race. With 300-meters to go, Akbar moved up on the outside of the field and McHale went with her. The two dualed down the stretch and McHale edged Akbar by .67 seconds. Akbar established a new school record in 4:34.17.
The American 4x100-meter relay established a new school record in 53.08 seconds to finish seventh in the race. The squad was made up of Shondrea Horton, Chanel Hunt, Damarah Rhymer and Marissa Schoenfield.
American finished eighth in the meet. A number of athletes will continue to compete for the Eagles next weekend at the James Madison Invitational before the ECAC Championships May 17-19.