Liberty’s Felix Kandie places ninth in NCAA Men’s Steeplechase Final
Liberty junior Felix Kandie placed ninth in Friday’s men’s steeplechase final during the last day of men’s competition at the 2021 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field.
The best-ever placement by a Liberty Flame in this event makes Kandie a two-time men’s steeplechase All-American, with both being second team honors.
Making his first appearance in the NCAA men’s steeplechase final, Kandie was part of a race where six of the top seven finishers posted personal bests, led by national champion Kigen Chemadi’s (Middle Tennessee) 8:28.20.
Kandie’s time of 8:34.15 was the second fastest of his career, trailing only his Liberty and ASUN-record 8:32.95 clocking from Wednesday’s semifinal. He just missed the eighth and final first team All-America spot and scoring position, which went to Georgetown’s Parker Stokes in 8:33.44. Kandie edged future ASUN Conference foe Ahmed Jaziri of Eastern Kentucky, who placed 10th at 8:34.85.
Kandie’s ninth-place finish is the best-ever performance by a Liberty Flame in the NCAA men’s steeplechase final. It edged the 10th-place showing of fellow Eldoret, Kenya native Evans Kigen from the 2008 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Kandie, whose previous second team All-America showing came courtesy of a 13th-place finish in the 2019 NCAA men’s steeplechase final, becomes the first Liberty men’s distance runner to earn multiple All-America notations on the track since Sam Chelanga graduated in 2011.
Liberty wraps up the men’s portion of this meet with a pair of second team All-Americans. Kyle Mitchell, like Kandie a junior, previously placed 14th in the men’s shot put on Wednesday.