Lalang finishing strong in final season despite family distance

Senior Trojan distance runner Isaac Lalang has saved his best performances for his final season as a member of the Little Rock (LR) cross-country team.

Education and significant competition drew Lalang to LR. The Kenyan has established himself as one of the Sun Belt Conference’s elite runners this season.

Coming off a first-place finish at the UCA Challenge with a time of 14 minutes, 21 seconds, and one-tenth of a second, the senior runner still believes he has more to give.

Being the third of seven siblings, nothing has come easy for Lalang and his family. Determination, concentration, focus, and discipline are just a few words the senior used to describe his preparation before a meet.

His parents are his backbone and live in his hometown of Eldoret, Kenya. Finding ways to keep the family updated and informed about his success and finishes has been very critical, as well as challenging.

Traditional avenues like telephone, pictures, videos, and newspaper articles are just a few of the ways he notifies his family of his success. To keep the senior runner grounded, a day prior to every meet, Lalang contacts his mother and listens as she critiques his running style and gives him motivation to succeed.

Before Little Rock, Lalang ran most recently at Texas Wesleyan University, earning cross-country team MVP honors, as well as the 3D Award for Determination, Desire, and Dedication. At Iowa Central, he helped his team to the NJCAA National Championship while posting a 4.0 grade point average.

Lalang is second in school history in the 1oK race and holds the school record in the cross-country 8K. In the 2016-17 indoor season, he came in third at the ASU Kickoff Klassic with a time of 15:18.91. In the 2017 outdoor season at the Sun Belt Conference Championships, he scored in three different events while placing fourth in the 3K steeplechase in 9:33.45.

When asked what can he do to get better, Lalang replied he needed to “stay focused and continue to workout and push myself, and let all the training in the summer take over.”

When asked what his goal is for the remainder of the season, a confident Lalang repliedĀ  “…finish strong and be in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 17th, for the NCAA Cross-Country Championship.”


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