What a tremendous performance Saturday by Rowan University senior Christin Bettis at the ECAC Division 3 championships!
Bettis, a Hammonton graduate, destroyed her own PR and shattered a Rowan University school record set 27 years ago in winning the 3,000 meters in the ECAC meet at Ithaca, N.Y.
Bettis ran 9:52.64, winning by 60 meters over Alicia Belko of Stockton University via Rancocas Valley Regional in a 1-2 South Jersey finish. Belko ran 10:05.30, about eight seconds faster than her previous PR of 10:13.26 set at the Armory last month.
Bettis, whose previous 3,000 PR was 10:12.61, set just two weeks ago at the NJAC indoor meet at Ocean Breeze in Staten Island, N.Y., broke the Rowan record of 10:08.28, set in 1990 by Linda Vaughan.
Her time ranks Bettis No. 12 nationally in NCAA Division 3.
Bettis wired the field Saturday. She was out in 35.8, with Denise Ibarra of host Ithaca, Sabrina Herrman of NYU and Belko alongside her and the rest of the field quickly stringing out.
Bettis and Belko lost Herrman on the seventh lap, and Bettis opened up a gap on Belko with a 40.6 10th lap.
She closed very strong, 36.6 for her final 200, 74.7 for her final 400 and 2:33.5 for her final 800. Her last four laps were all under 40 seconds.
As for Belko, she came up just short of the school record of 10:02.70, set last month by current teammate Cassandra Hrusko of Manchester Township High School, who won the mile Saturday and also ran the 800.
On Friday, Bettis split 4:56 to anchor Rowan’s distance medley, which placed third in 11:58.66 and qualified for the NCAA Division 3 championships. Jessalyn Wright ran the 1,200, Brianna Angellella the 400 and Claire Incantalupo the 800.
Rowan’s DMR time is No. 8 nationally in NCAA Division 3.
Bettis was a Cape-Atlantic 3,200 champ and South Jersey Group 3 sectional champ as a senior at Hammonton in 2012. She had an outdoor PR of 11:03.70 from the 2012 Cape-Atlantic meet but an overall PR of 10:53.4 hand-timed indoors at the 2012 Varsity Classic at the Armory.
For the sake of comparison, her 1,600 PR in high school was 5:13.01. And she essentially ran the same pace today for 3,000 meters (39.5 per lap) as her high school PR for a race nearly half as long (39.2 per lap).