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Garn finishes 4th in 800 meter finals

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EUGENE, OR – Senior middle distance runner Jesse Garn concluded his stellar season with a fourth-place finish in the men's 800 finals at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Friday night at Heyward Field. In the process, he clinched first-team All-America honors for the first time in his career.

The United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) awards first-team All-America honors to finishers 1-8 in an event at the NCAA Championships. Places 9-16 are named second team All-Americans while finishers 17-24 are awarded honorable mention status.

Garn clocked a time of 1:49.74. Edward Kemboi of Iowa State won in a time of 1:49.26, followed by Brandon Kidder of Penn State (1:49.36) and Clayton Murphy of Akron (1:49.74).

As he did in the preliminaries on Wednesday, Garn was tucked in towards the back of the pack through the first lap of the race. He then made his way in the outside of the track and was with the lead group at the top of the straightaway. Kemboi, who won the same event in the NCAA Indoor Championships, pulled away from the group over the final 50 meters.

The fourth-place finish by Garn is the best by any Binghamton athlete at a NCAA Championship event since Donnie Vinson was third in the 149 weight class at the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships. The most recent first-team All-America performance in track came when Erik van Ingen was eighth in the 1,500 at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Meet.

"I am super proud of Jesse considering this was his first time in a (NCAA) final," assistant coach Annette Acuff said. "It was a slow pace for the first 400 but he raced very smart and really went for it at the end of the race. To finish in the top half of the finals of NCAAs is fantastic."

Garn, who earned honorable mention status at the NCAA indoor meet in March, is now one of three Binghamton Division I student-athletes to be named an All-American twice during their career. van Ingen was a four-time selection (twice in the indoor mile and twice in the outdoor 1,500) from 2011-12. Rory Quiller, meanwhile, was tabbed three times in the pole vault from 2007-08 and won indoor title in 2008.

Including Keishorea Armstrong in the long jump last night, 11 Binghamton student-athletes have earned Division I All-America honors during the program's 14-year NCAA Division I era. Armstrong placed 24th to earn honorable mention status.

Garn still has one more year of eligibility in both indoor and outdoor track. He concluded his eligibility in cross country last fall. Armstrong, meanwhile, has two more seasons in both indoor and outdoor track.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)