June 9, 2015
WASHINGTON - The 2015 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships invites the most elite group of collegiate runners to historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., for the final races of the season - the races that determine who can be touted as an All-American, or the ever elusive title of NCAA champion. With stakes like that on the line, it is hard to imagine the athletes concentrating on anything other than running and their performance on the track, but, Georgetown senior Collin Leibold (Falls Church, Va./Gonzaga) is going above and beyond.
Leibold will be making his first trip to the NCAA Championships after a personal record (PR) of 13:54.05 at the East preliminary in Jacksonville less than two weeks ago. However, some would argue that Leibold's most impressive performance is happening off the track.
Following the NCAA Championships, Leibold is heading to Kenya on June 16. Leibold will be working in Lare, a village in Nakuru County, with an ultimate goal of returning to the village following his fifth year of NCAA eligibility (following the 2015-16 season) to start a sustainable running group out of the Mother of Mercy Girls Secondary School, located in Lare.
While in Oregon (Eugene and Portland), Leibold is asking female NCAA competitors for the following:
1. gently used running shoes (trainers, flats, spikes) sizes 6-9
2. running apparel
3. notes to the girls at the school - they are high school ages and love running, so any inspiration or advice from competitors
The spirit of competition can leave many student-athletes singularly focused on one goal. Leibold's efforts remind the competitors ascending upon Hayward Field, as well as the running and Georgetown communities, of the importance of working on the whole person. Leibold's long term goals in Kenya truly embody the Jesuit tradition of "men and women for others."
The NCAA Championships begin on Wednesday, June 10 and continue through Saturday, June 13 in Eugene, Ore. Leibold will compete in the men's 5,000-meter finals on Friday, June 12 at 9:30 p.m. ET, with live coverage available on ESPN3 starting at 7 p.m. ET and live coverage of the championships available on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. ET.