Kenneth Rooks – Minding the Gap

Carrie chats with NCAA and USATF champion Kenneth Rooks! He discusses the entire USATF race where he was 2 laps in and took a hard fall. He also talks about what it felt like to break the tape and what happens now leading into the World Championships. He also talks about getting into the sport, taking two years off of running to serve on a mission trip, what he likes to do outside of running, and so much more!

Recorded July 24, 2023

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Kenneth Rooks

Bio courtesy of BYU Athletics

BYU Highlights

– 2023 NCAA DI steeplechase national champion (8:26.17)
– Four-time All-American (three outdoor, one indoor), including three First-Team honors
– Holds three BYU top-10 records: No. 1 in the steeplechase (8:17.62), No. 1 as part of BYU’s DMR squad (9:21.18) and No. 7 in the indoor mile (3:59.65)
– In the 2022 indoor season, he combined with Brandon Garnica, Cortez Ruiz and Joey Nokes to win the 2022 MPSF Men’s Distance Medley Relay Championship with a time of 9:48.28. He was also named to the MPSF All-Academic Team
– As a freshman in 2019, Rooks ran a career-best 8:36.08 to take second in the steeplechase at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds to advance to Nationals – Sixth-fastest steeplechase time in school history


-Parents are Ron & Judy Rooks
– Major: Civil Engineering
– Missionary Service: Served a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kampala, Uganda & Orem, Utah (2019-21)
– An only child
– Enjoys basketball, the outdoors and was a member of his high school’s choir

Before BYU

– Two-time WIAA cross country state champion (2015, 2017)
– 2017 WIAA 1A state champion in the 1600m
– Broke the WIAA 1A state record in the 800m (1:53.56)
– Valedictorian of his graduating class
– H.S. Personal Bests: 1:53.56 (800m), 4:11.40 (mile), 9:20.86 (3200m)

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