North Carolina State junior Erika Kemp of North Carolina State begins her quest for a third All-America honor when she races in the 5,000 and 10,000 at the NCAA East Regional prelims in Lexington, Ky., this weekend.
Kemp was a double All-America at last year’s indoor NCAA meet, placing fifth in the 5,000 and 11th in the 3,000.
Kemp, a state Group 4 3,200 champ at Rancocas Valley, ran a personal-best 15:41.23 her last time out in the 5,000, winning a meet at the University of Virginia last month. Her previous 5,000 PR was 15:45.46 indoors at Boston University in December of 2015. That is also the North Carolina State school record.
Kemp is ranked No. 5 in NCAA Division 1 and No. 2 among all U.S. women at 5,000 meters. She’s No. 2 in the East Regional, behind Allie Buchalski of Furman, who ran 15:35.55 at the Raleigh Relays in late March.
In the 10,000, Kemp has a PR of 33:13.34 from the 2015 Stanford Invitational. She’s only run one 10,000 this year and went 33:36.26, also at the Raleigh Relays.
Kemp ranks No. 2 in N.C. State history in the 5,000, behind only Betty Springs, who ran 15:33.43 in 1983. Julie Shea ran 15:41.28 in 1980, so Kemp edged her out for the No. 2 spot bye 5-100ths of a second.
Qualifiers out of the East and West regions advance to the NCAA Championships scheduled for June 7-10 at Hayward Field in Eugene.
Kemp is in the first of two 5,000 heats, scheduled for 5:25 p.m. Saturday. The top five from each race plus the next-best two times will advance to Eugene.
The 10,000 is a one-section race slated for 7:08 p.m. Thursday, with the first 12 across the line advancing to nationals.