(Photo by Doug Diekema)
BOSTON, Mass. - Calvin junior Tyler Johnson took ninth in the 5,000 meter run Friday night at the NCAA III Indoor Track and Field Championships with a time of 14:39.98.
Running just six days after posting a qualifying time for the national meet, Johnson recharged on Friday to make a bid for a top-eight (All-America) spot.
Seeded 17th, Johnson (Springfield, Il./Pleasant Plains HS) sat in the back third of the field of 20 competitors through the first half of the race but then charged into the top six at the mid-point and ran as high as fifth with six laps remaining.
Having used up a large amount of energy, Johnson was passed in the final 100 meters by a pair of competitors to slip out of the top eight and into ninth but still came across the line in fine fashion.
"Tyler ran a tremendous race," said Calvin distance coach Brian Diemer. "You can not underestimate the type of talent that was in this (5,000 meter) field tonight but Tyler was not afraid. He didn't back down and made the move he had to make in the middle of the race to give himself a chance at a top eight finish. He did not sit back but went for it and for that I applaud him. He just came up a little bit short and ultimately he ran a little short on gas. That can happen in a race like this but the important thing is that he gave himself a chance, competed hard and did not back down. I am extremely proud of him. He has made huge strides forward during the indoor season and the best is yet to come for this young man."
Dhruvil Patel of North Central won Friday's 5K race in a time of 14:24.86. The NCAA III Indoor Track and Field Championships are being held at the Reggie Lewis Center on the campus of Roxbury Community College.