Ndhlovu Becomes Champion Of 10000m At Prestigious Penn Relays
PHILADELPHIA, Pa.- UNCP junior Pardon Ndhlovu accomplished one of the best performances of his career as he competed in his third-consecutive year at the historic Penn Relays to NCAA Provisionally Qualify for the national championship race during the college men's 10000m championships on Thursday at Franklin Field.
A native of Zimbabwe, Ndhlovu found himself among the most elite athletes in collegiate track and field completion and clinched a new personal best with of 29.31.58 as he was less than one second ahead of the second place finisher. Out of the total 34 college men competing, 19 had fast enough times to qualify for nationals as Ndhlovu was 10 seconds away from NCAA Automatically Qualifying.
The multi-sport athlete shaved 46 seconds off his previous 10000m run time of 30:17.12 originally run at Raleigh Relays on March 30. NAIA all-American distance runner, Gary Henry, holds the current school record in the event with a time of 28:47.00 set in 1982.
Last year at Penn Relays, Ndhlovu took home a third place finish in the 5000m run and has set new personal best times in every event he has competed in since his appearance at the meet. He is the first athlete in UNCP history to achieve a first place finish at the Penn Relays as he has collected only top-5 finishes this season including five first place finishes in his events.
The Penn Relays is the first and oldest relay meet with average attendance nearing 50,000 in the last eight years, making the meet the best-attended track event in the United States each year and one of the best attended in the world. Through 117 editions of the meet, more athletes have run at the Penn Relays than at any other single meet in the world. More spectators have watched the meet than any in the world except the Olympics and World Championships.
The men's track and field team has concluded their season with a select few athletes continuing competition at Campbell Irwin Belk Open on April 28.