Rowan senior John Meyer placed second in the mile at the New Jersey Athletic Conference meet this weekend in Staten Island with a time of 4:17.34.
Yeah, that’s a nice performance!
Now consider this: Meyer never broke 4:40 in high school!
We always hear about high school studs who go to college and never match their high school PRs. Well, here’s the opposite sort of story.
Meyer ran high school track at Indian Hills in Oakland, Bergen County. His high school 1,600 PR was a 4:42.20 that he ran placing ninth at the North Jersey Section 1 Group 2 sectionals at the Bubble in February of 2013. Meyer finished ninth that day, about 100 meters behind Mahway’s James Buser, who ran a 4:25.15 for the win.
Outdoors, Meyer never broke 4:47. He did get his 800 time down to 2:03 and change, good enough for 13th at the 2013 Bergen County championships, five seconds behind Buser.
But according to the NJ Milesplit database, Meyer didn’t even run the mile outdoors as a senior. His last high school 1,600 on record was that 4:42 at indoor sectionals in 2013.
Which takes us to college.
Meyer wound up at Rowan and immediately began improving. He ran as fast as 4:15.23 for 1,500 meters as a freshman — equivalent of a 4:35.57 full mile. Which was about a nine-second PR over his high school 1,600 best and a 14-second PR over his outdoor 1,600 PR.
As a sophomore, he lowered his mile time to 4:30.55 indoors, then had a huge breakthrough that spring, when he ran as fast as 4:02.06 for 1,500 meters — equivalent of a 4:21.35 full mile and now about 23 seconds faster than he ran in high school.
Another breakthrough came last indoor season when he PR’d at 4:18.73 at the ECAC championships and then last spring at the outdoor ECAC meet he rolled a remarkable 3:54.65 for the 1,500 — equivalent of a 4:13.35 full mile.
That’s half a minute faster than his high school PR!!!!!
This past weekend, Meyer ran an indoor mile PR of 4:17.34, finishing second to Ramapo’s Jeremy Hernandez in the NJAC Championships at the Ocean Breeze facility. Hernandez, a Clifton graduate who has a 3:43.56 1,500 to his credit, ran 4:15.98.
And Meyer, who had a 4:42 high school PR, is now ranked No. 34 in the country in NCAA Division 3.
Meyer, who has also run 1:59.61 this indoor season, also teamed up with Brandon Eldershaw, Kevin Veltre and Crispin D’Augusta to give Rowan a win in the 3,200-meter relay with an 8:05.30. The Profs finished 75 meters ahead of Stockton and won went own to win their third straight team title, outscoring The College of New Jersey by 100 points (245-145)!
Meyer isn’t just one of the most improved runners you’ll find, he’s a team captain, a Rowan scholar-athlete and a member of the Chip Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society.
Now, that’s a fun story!