Seneca grad Alex McGrainer, a Rhode Island senior, finished first in a wild five-man finish and won the 1,000-meter run at the Atlantic 10 Championships Sunday with a time of 2:31.15.
The top five finishers all ran between 2:31.15 and 2:31.90 in the strategic race, which means five meters separated first and fifth in the race at George Mason Fieldhouse in Fairfax, Va.
McGrainer had run 2:29.34 in Saturday’s trials, second-fastest among qualifiers behind Nathan Schultz of GMU, who ran 2:29.17.
In the final, McGrainer finished a step ahead of second-place Nathan Schultz of host George Mason (2:31.55), with Colton Nettleton of St. Louis (2:31.65), Jack Magee of St. Joe’s (2:31.67) and Brian Gendron of U. Mass (2:31.90) all just behind.
McGrainer is the first Rhode Island runner to win the A-10 1,000 since Joe Molz in 2006. This was his fourth time finishing in the top three in an A-10 conference championship race but his first title.
McGrainer’s 1,000 PR is 2:25.20 from the Terrier Classic in Boston last month.
George Mason won the team title 214-155 1/2 over Rhode Island.
McGrainer placed in both the 800 and 1,600 at states his senior year at Seneca, running PRs of 1:55.91 and 4:19.83. He was an Olympic Conference, Burlington County and South Jersey Group 3 champ at 1,600 meters.
At URI, he has PRs of 1:53.26 at 800 meters and 3:55.85 for 1,500 meters, equivalent of about a 4:14.7 full mile.
McGrainer is the second South Jersey native to win the 1,000 at the indoor A-10 meet in three years. You won’t find the results on the lame A-10 web site, which doesn’t have any former meet results available and only has a three-year-old meet program, but Delsea graduate Steve Butenewicz of St. Joe’s won the A-10 1,000 in 2015 with a time of 2:29.19.