RICHMOND, Ky. (FOX 56) – Ahmed Jaziri came to Eastern Kentucky University for two things. He wanted to finish his education and grab another bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. Last but not least, he wanted to become a national champion. Earlier in June, the Colonels’ ace long-distance runner won the 3,000-meter steeplechase NCAA Championship.

The win made Jaziri the first national champion in track for the Colonels in program history. “I couldn’t be happier than I am right now,” Jaziri told FOX 56 Sports on Tuesday. Jaziri shattered his personal best time in the finals of the steeplechase, running an 8:18.70, which is also the second-fastest steeplechase time in NCAA Championships history. It also put Jaziri, who has Olympic 2024 hopes, at World Championships standard.

“After so many ups and downs, you have to deal with the stress of life and education, training to get to that level.” Jaziri hopes to keep raising the bar, as he gets ready to compete overseas for the next couple of weeks before returning to the states.

Jaziri is returning for his senior season and will look to defend his crown while gearing up for the 2023 World Championships.