Which NCAA Stars Will Go Sub-4:30 For The First Time In 2019?

Elinor Purrier 4:26.55, #2 A-T

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloTrack!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

Among NCAA female milers, sub-4:30 provides the ultimate designation of elite status. 

Only two women have accomplished the feat in each of the last two seasons, but plenty have come close to breaking the barrier. With such a loaded class of collegiate milers in 2019, sub-4:30 is bound to happen on multiple occasions this season, even without a single athlete in the NCAA right now who has done it.

Here are 10 candidates to break into the 4:20s for the first time:  

Dani Jones, SR, Colorado

Mile PR: 4:31.82 (2018 NCAAs)

The NCAA cross country champ ran a 4:07.33 1500m last spring, which would’ve been good for sixth all-time except that Jones redshirted the outdoor season. She also ran a converted 4:29.32 last February in Boulder. Runner-up in the mile last winter at NCAAs, Jones seems like a lock to break 4:30 given the spectacular year she’s had.

Jessica Hull, SR, Oregon

Mile PR: 4:31.76 (2018 MPSF Championships)

Hull’s stardom has exploded in the last year as she won the NCAA 1500m title in June and then finished third at NCAA XC in November. After setting Oregon’s school record in the mile last winter (4:31.76), the senior is ready to lower it under the magical 4:30 barrier in 2019.

Millie Paladino, SR, Providence

Mile PR: 4:31.98 (2018 BU Valentine)

Paladino was in the lightning-quick BU Valentine race last year where three women broke 4:30, and another appearance in a race of that caliber in Boston could get the job done for the Providence senior. She was sixth in the NCAA mile in 2018.

Karisa Nelson, SR, Samford

Mile PR: 4:31.24 (2017 NCAAs)

Remember her? Nelson shocked virtually everyone when she won the 2017 NCAA mile title in 4:31.24 -- more than four-seconds faster than her previous PR -- and she’ll be back in 2019 after missing last season with an injury.

Danae Rivers, JR, Penn State

Mile PR: 4:32.55 (2017 Husky Classic)

With All-American finishes in the indoor 800, mile, DMR and outdoor 1500m in just two seasons in State College, Rivers has shown elite speed and incredible versatility on the track. 4:30 is a tough barrier, but Rivers ran 4:32 as a true frosh two years ago.

Lilli Burdon, SR, Washington

Mile PR: 4:32.30 (2018 MPSF Championships)

Burdon anchored Oregon to DMR gold at NCAAs in 2018, and her 4:32 speed explains how she did it. Look for the new Husky to carry the momentum of her All-American finish at NCAA XC into a big indoor season.

Rachel Pocratsky, SR, Virginia Tech

Mile PR: 4:34.01 (2018 Music City Challenge)

Pocratsky ran 4:10 for 1500m on three occasions last spring, so she has the ability if she can find the right race; however, the Hokie senior may focus on the 800m indoors, so her chances may be limited.

Christina Aragon, SO, Stanford

Mile PR: 4:34.76 (2018 MPSF Championships)

She raced just once this fall, but Christina Aragon -- who ran 4:08 for 1500m at 19 -- certainly has the talent to crack 4:30 if she’s healthy. As a redshirt freshman in 2018, Aragon ran the fastest anchor split in the NCAA DMR to lead the Cardinal to a runner-up finish.

Katrina Robinson, FR, Arkansas

Mile PR: N/A (4:14.05 1500m PR)

The freshman from New Zealand has never run indoor track, but her 4:14 PR as a 17-year-old shows just how talented she is. Sub-4:30 may be a tough ask in her first season, but Robinson is preternaturally gifted: she has also run 9:03 in the 3k, a national junior record.

Nicole Hutchinson, SR, Villanova

Mile PR: 4:36.16 (2017 UCS Invitational)

Hutchinson just wrapped up a breakout cross country season with an All-American finish in Madison, and the 4:13 1500m runner will have a good crack at sub-4:30 if she runs the always-fast mile at BU Valentine. The senior’s 4:36 PR is from the JDL Fast Track -- a flat, 200m surface -- and it converts to 4:33.

The Best Track And Field Athlete From Every NCAA Tournament School

The 2019 NCAA DI Men’s Basketball Tournament begins this week, and in honor of March Madness we’ve selected the best track and field athlete— past or present— from each of the tournament’s 68 schools (minus Old Dominion, who does not have a track team; get a track team Old Dominion). Some of the names below are NCAA track and field legends from major programs. Others on this list never even qualified for the NCAA Championships. The 68 here ran the gamut, from Olympic heroes to mere school record holders.

Why LetsRun Is Wrong & USATF Is Right About Olympic Qualifying

Last week, the IAAF announced its new qualification process for the 2020 Olympic Games, which included tougher entry standards and new computerized world rankings. The reaction was intense as some media outlets painted an apocalyptic worldview for U.S. athletics. In reality, it’s not that dramatic.

Cal Coach Tony Sandoval To Retire

Tony Sandoval, the director of track and field and cross country at Cal, will retire at the conclusion of the outdoor season. Sandoval spent 37 years at the university, beginning as the head women’s coach in 1982. 

Six Reasons We're Looking Forward To The NCAA Outdoor Track Season

As exciting as 200-meter ovals and banked curves are, we’re ready for the unpredictable weather, sprint relays and 10K races of spring track season. Here’s a few reasons to get excited for NCAA outdoor track and field.

FloTrack To Stream 2019 Boston Marathon In Europe

AUSTIN, Texas — March 18, 2019 — Today, FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, and the Boston Athletic Association, announced a partnership to provide live and on-demand coverage of the 2019 Boston Marathon on FloTrack.com exclusively in over 40 European countries. 

Ethiopia's Belay Tilahun, Not Included In Elite Field, Wins NYC Half

(c) 2019 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Linden, Chelimo Ready for United Airlines NYC Half On Sunday

The United Airlines NYC Half is often considered a springboard to future goals for elite runners, but that's doesn't mean they take the event lightly. American Olympians Des Linden and Paul Chelimo are approaching next Sunday's race as a critical competition, even as they use their trip to New York as an important test for upcoming targets.

Grant Holloway Is Very Close To Being The Best Hurdler In The World

Holloway After 60mH AR & 60m Title

It’s tempting to view what Grant Holloway did over the weekend at the NCAA Indoor Championships-- 7.35 American record in the 60m hurdles and a 6.50 60m victory, plus third place finishes in the long jump and 4x400m-- as a man at the peak of his powers. But for an athlete with medal potential at October’s World Championships, the Florida superstar may only be scratching the surface of his ceiling in 2019.

House Of Run: Which Diamond League Events Are Getting Dropped?

Jason and Kevin discuss the exploits of Grant Holloway and Morgan McDonald at the NCAA Indoor Championships, the revamped 2020 Olympic qualifying standards, the Diamond League cutting events and losing to people wearing costumes.

The Challenge Of Doubling, Irrelevant Seed Times & Other NCAA Takeaways

null

Grant Holloway stole the show, while Florida and Arkansas walked away with team titles. But what were some of the other takeaways from Birmingham?