Kevin Veltre’s steeplechase debut didn’t go too badly. The Rowan junior ran 9:11.76 — the No. 2 time so far this year in NCAA Division 3 — and won the 3,000-meter steeple at the 22nd annual Monmouth Season Opener this weekend in West Long Branch.
Not bad for a novice!
Veltre’s time is No. 2 in Division 3 behind Luke O’Connor of Tufts, who ran 9:11.70 at the Point Loma Nazarene Invitational in San Diego on Saturday. O’Connor ran 9:04 last year and placed fourth in the NCAA Championships
His time is also only about 11 seconds off the Rowan school record of 9:00.13 set by former Oakcrest star Don Deckert in 1980.
According to the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, Veltre’s 9:11 was the eighth-fastest steeplechase run by any college runner regardless of division this past weekend.
Veltre, a graduate of Brick Memorial High School, has PRs of 1:56.36 for 800 meters and 3:53.55 for 1,500 meters. But he had never completed a steeplechase, so this was one heck of a debut.
Indoors, Veltre ran on Rowan’s first-place 4-by-8 and DMR teams at the NJAC championships and placed second in the 1,000 at the Division 3 ECAC meet.