(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
COLLEGE STATION, T.X. – Montana State track and field’s Diego Leon completed his first appearance on the national stage on Friday, March 9, by finishing 14th overall in the men’s mile run at Texas A&M’s Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.
Competing in the first running event of the NCAA Division I Indoor Championships, Leon opened the first heat of the mile by going to the front of the pack. The MSU senior led the race 1 minute in and controlled the pace until the 2:30 mark.
Leon eventually crossed the finish line in a time of 4 minutes, 8.34 seconds, just under 4 seconds away from the first heat’s fourth-place finisher Johan Koech of UTEP. The Hollister, Calif., native still had a shot of qualifying for the finals heading into the second heat.
His finals hopes were dashed with the pace of the second mile heat. The final qualifier, Ole Miss’s Sean Tobin, earned a mark of 4:02.35 to end Leon’s NCAA meet.
“It was a huge accomplishment for Diego to participate in the Indoor Championships and earn Second-Team All-America honors,” assistant coach Lyle Weese said. “He has gained valuable experience and will take this to build toward a great outdoor season.”
Leon wraps up his MSU indoor career with All-America accolades behind his qualification to the NCAA Indoor Championships. He is the Bobcats’ seventh men’s All-American, with distance coach Lyle Weese serving as MSU’s lone two-time All-American. The MSU senior is third all-time in the Bobcats’ record book in the mile (3:57.37). He’s also eighth all-time in the 3,000-meter run (8:07.93) and sixth all-time in the 5,000 (14:10.12).