New Mexico’s Josh Kerr broke the NCAA 1500m record on Friday night, running 3:35.01 at the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, California. The mark eclipsed Sydney Maree’s 3:35.30 that had stood since 1981.
Kerr sat behind three pacesetters in the first lap as the leaders passed through 400 meters around 55 seconds. The pace slowed in the second lap, but Kerr was still around the 1:55 that he had targeted for the 800m split.
Olympian Lopez Lomong played the role of rabbit in the third lap, stepping off the track just before Kerr hit the bell in 2:40. At the front now, Kerr charged down the backstretch.
But Kerr had company, with Ole Miss’ Robert Domanic and Justyn Knight of Syracuse just behind him. But off the final curve, Kerr’s margin grew and the chance of him making history appeared a greater possibility with every stride toward the finish line.
He threw himself across the line in 3:35.01.
🚨NEW NCAA RECORD🚨 pic.twitter.com/cCsOFPeLQ4— FloTrack (@FloTrack) April 21, 2018
Behind Kerr, Knight finished second in 3:36.07, Robert Domanic took third in 3:36.33, and Oregon’s Sam Prakel ran 3:36.84—all lifetime bests.
Also in the race, David Ribich of Western Oregon set the Division II record by running 3:37.35