May 26, 2012

Salukombo ends career with All-American performance

In his final race as a member of the Denison track and field team, senior Dee Salukombo won his sixth All-American certificate following a seventh-place finish in the 5,000-meter run at the NCAA Championships on Saturday in Claremont, Calif.

Despite suffering a foot injury in the 10,000 on Thursday, the strong-willed senior laced up his shoes on Saturday for one last crack at a national title.  Salukombo paced himself over the opening 600 meters before methodically moving up the large chase pack that trailed the lead quartet of runners.

Over the next 1,600 meters, the Big Red senior made his way to the front of the chase pack, putting himself in position for a late move.  With 1,200 meters remaining, a trio that featured Salukombo formed a second small group of runners.  At the 3200-meter mark, the DU senior took the lead of the three-person group.

However, the ill effects of his previous foot injury became apparent as he dropped back into seventh with four laps to go.  Over the final 1600 meters, Salukombo ran through the pain and held on for a seventh-place finish after crossing the line in 14:37.12.  His seventh-place finish marked the senior's best finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championship meet.

Wisconsin-Stout's Tim Nelson captured the 5,000-meter crown with a stadium-record time of 14:15.31, while Jordan Schilit of Haverford (14:20.45) and Hamline's Devin Monson (14:21.78) rounded out the top-3 spots.

Salukombo leaves Granville with six All-American certificates, three of which came during the track and field season.  The senior was also a three-time All-American in cross country for Head Coach Phil Torrens.