JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Paul Katam started the weekend off in exciting fashion for the Spartans in the Sunshine State with a victory in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA East Preliminary Round on Thursday evening.
Hot weather slowed the early pace, but smart running by the sophomore allowed him to move up steadily as the race progressed, finishing in a time of 30:05.74. Katam was in third place with a mile to go, before dropping a 61-second final lap to edge Tito Medrano of Syracuse by one one-hundredth of a second.
With his victory, Katam is the first Spartan to punch his ticket to the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, July 6-9.
Teammate Joey Thompson will compete in the 3,000m steeplechase Friday at 8:50 p.m.
10,000m: 1. Paul Katam, 30:05.74