The Curse Of The NCAA Mile Record Lives On

Before this past weekend's NCAA DI Indoor Championships, we republished this article from 2014 that outlines the bizarre trajectory of collegiate record-holders in the indoor mile. Since 1974, no male athlete has set the NCAA record and won the NCAA title in the same year.

When Edward Cheserek lowered Lawi Lalang's 2014 record from 3:52.88 to 3:52.01 at the BU Last Chance Meet in February, pundits expected the Oregon Duck to finally reverse the curse.

After all, to that point in time, "King Ches" had captured gold in 15 of 18 appearances at NCAA finals.

This past weekend in College Station, Texas, Ches won the 5K and 3K titles as expected. He even skipped the DMR to rest for his mile final. But no one told New Mexico's redshirt freshman Josh Kerr about Cheserek's record mile. Or, the Scotland native already knew the curse's full effects were forthcoming. Either way, Kerr took charge at 1200m and never looked back, coasting to victory two full seconds ahead of Ches: 4:03.22 to 4:05.42.

Track fans were shocked. But former record-holders weren't.


Here's a brief history of NCAA DI record-holders in the mile and their results at the subsequent national championship:

YEAR RECORD ATHLETE NCAA PLACEMENT
1974 3:55.0 (HT) Tony Waldrop (North Carolina) 1st
2009 3:55.02 German Fernandez (Ok State) DNR
2012 3:54.54 Miles Batty (BYU) 3rd
2013 3:52.98 Chris O'Hare (Tulsa) 7th
2014 3:52.88 Lawi Lalang' (Arizona) 2nd
2017 3:52.01 Edward Cheserek (Oregon) 2nd
Of note: both O'Hare and Kerr are Scottish. O'Hare actually won the NCAA indoor mile title in 2012, one year before becoming the curse's next victim. Maybe Kerr will pick a new event in 2018.

Watch Cheserek set the mile record here and see Kerr win the NCAA title below.

Top XC Freshmen In The NCAA So Far...

NCAA XC: Dynasties On The Line

As we head into the last week of September a few of the top freshmen and redshirt freshmen in the nation have made their NCAA xc debuts. Here is our ranking of the top ten freshmen who have competed so far this season.

Crazy Depth: BYU's JV Team Could Finish Top 15 At NCAAs

NCAA XC: Dynasties On The Line

If any team has a shot to dethrone the two-time defending NCAA champion Northern Arizona men at nationals this November, it’s No. 2 ranked BYU. 

Anatomy Of A NCAA Women's Championships XC Team

NCAA XC: Dynasties On The Line

Last week, we dug into the last 20 years of the men's results from the NCAA Cross Country Championships to identify some commonalities among the championship teams. The analysis didn’t yield definitive rules to win a title, but it did provide some guidelines.

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloTrack!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

How Men's XC All-Americans Fare The Following Season

NCAA XC: Dynasties On The Line

The standard for individual excellence in NCAA cross country is quite clear: finish in the top 40 at nationals. By doing so, an athlete earns All-American status, a title that carries significant weight on a distance runner’s résumé.

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloTrack!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

Amid Harsh Criticism, WADA Reinstates Russian Anti-Doping Agency

The World Anti-Doping Agency removed the ban on Russia’s anti-doping agency on Thursday, setting off a wave of criticism in the athletic community. The ban was enacted in 2015 after reports of widespread state-sponsored doping.

PLAY NOW: 2018 FloXC Fantasy League

Introducing the season long FloXC fantasy league. A chance for you to compete against the FloTrack staff and be in the running to win a FloPRO subscription for a year!

Jordan Hasay Opens Up After Withdrawing From Second Marathon In 5 Months

Jordan Hasay of the Nike Oregon Project has dropped out of October’s Chicago Marathon, her second withdrawal from a major marathon in five months, and once again due to a calcaneal stress fracture in the heel of her left foot.

House Of Run: Where Does Kipchoge, And The Marathon, Go From Here?

Jason and Kevin discuss Eliud Kipchoge’s destruction of the marathon world record, how his career will be viewed in the future, the next race he will run and the prospect of a sub-two-hour marathon.

Jordan Hasay Pulls Out Of Chicago Marathon

Injuries will once again keep one of America’s brightest marathon stars from making it to the start line. Jordan Hasay announced on Monday that she has withdrawn from October’s Chicago Marathon citing a fracture in her heel. 

Five Takeaways From Eliud Kipchoge's World Record In Berlin

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloTrack!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

2018 Berlin Marathon - 2:01:39 WORLD RECORD By Eliud Kipchoge!!!

Those in the running world will not soon forget where they were and what they were doing on September 16, 2018, the day 33-year-old Eliud Kipchoge recalibrated our understanding of the marathon by running 2:01:39 in Berlin.