The Curse Of The NCAA Mile Record Lives On

Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports
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.

USA Outdoor Champs: Confidence Picks Featuring Iowans Returning to Iowa

When it comes to Championship events, anything can happen. Just last year, we saw Sara Vaughn drop a 61-second last lap to make her first-ever world team, Robby Andrews kick down Olympic champion Matt Centrowitz, and Ryan Crouser throw a shot farther than any human ever since 2003.

Sure, there isn't a world team to make this year, but there is plenty on the line in Des Moines. These are the things we are most confident about.

USATF Men's Sprint Preview: Michael Norman's Encore

Kirby Lee/USA Today
2018 USATF Outdoor Championships Preview Show

The USATF Outdoor Championships kick off on Thursday from Des Moines, Iowa. This is the fourth in a series of previews outlining the biggest names and storylines to watch. 

Who Should Win The 2018 Bowerman?

Travis Miller

20 NCAA athletes are in the running for the prestigious Bowerman Award. Below is a chart to compare the 2017-18 stats of each athlete against each other. Who do you think deserves the Bowerman?

FloTrack's USATF Championships Predictions

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
2018 USATF Outdoor Championships Preview Show

FloTrack makes their picks for the 2018 USATF Outdoor Championships

USATF Women's Sprint Preview: Watch Out For The College Kids

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The sprint and hurdle events at the 2018 USATF Outdoor Championships represent a changing of the guard as many top-ranked veterans are opting to skip the event entirely to rehabilitate injuries, or simply prep for the European summer circuit. Expect Des Moines to produce a slew of fresh-faced champions, many of whom we predict will be showing out straight from the college ranks. 

USATF Men's Distance Preview: Don't Tell This 800m Field It's An Off Year

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s acknowledge something up top. U.S. championships in a non-World Championship/Olympic years aren’t the same. 

Maurica & Andy Powell To Leave Oregon For University of Washington

The University of Washington announced today that Maurica Powell and Andy Powell are joining the staff after 13 years at the University of Oregon.

Caster Semenya Is Taking The IAAF To Court

Kirby Lee/USA Today

South African middle-distance star Caster Semenya said Monday that she will challenge the new IAAF rules regarding testosterone regulations.

USATF Women's Distance Preview: All The Big Names Will Be In Des Moines

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There may not be an Olympic Games or World Championships this summer, but there is still a USATF Championship to be contested—which means we get an interesting twist in terms of athletes dabbling in new events, doubling in multiple races, or, inevitably, scratching from the competition mid-meet (cross your fingers we don't get too many of those). 

Katelyn Tuohy Breaks National High School Record For Outdoor Mile In 4:33

Photo Run
Katelyn Tuohy After 4:33 National High School Mile Record

North Rockland High School sophomore Katelyn Tuohy shattered the national high school record for the outdoor mile in 4:33.87 at New Balance Nationals Outdoor in Greensboro, North Carolina.