Here’s a heck of a early breakthrough race for you: Pitman grad Alyssa Sanders, a sophomore at Rowan, ran 4:44.09 for the 1,500 Saturday at the 41st annual Aztec Open at San Diego State University.
Sanders placed fourth racing against primarily NCAA Division 1 runners. Her time converts to a 5:04.97 for 1,600 meters, which she ran in high school, or 5:06.73 for the full mile.
Either way, that’s a massive PR for Sanders, who came into the meet with a mile PR of 5:14.04 from the Atlantic Area Regional Track Championships at Ithaca earlier this month and a 1,500 PR of 4:49.25 from the Lehigh Games in Bethlehem last spring.
How far has Sanders come?
She had a 1,600 PR of 5:16.30 at Pitman from Meet of Champions her senior year. So she’s basically lowered that by 10 seconds in two years.
Sanders’ time is No. 12 in NCAA Division 3 so far this spring, two spots ahead of teammate and former high school teammate Hannah Vendetta, who ran 4:44.31 at the same meet … in a different section of the race.
Vendetta, a transfer from Georgia Court in Lakewood, has a 1,500 PR of 4:39.33 from last May, when she won the NJAC title at College of New Jersey in Ewing. She was also the NJAC mile champ this past winter with a 5:07.65.
Vendetta placed fifth and Sanders 10th in the South Jersey Group 1 XC championships in the fall of 2014, which was Vendetta’s senior year and Sanders’ sophomore year, when Pitman placed second in team scoring.
Sanders also has an indoor PR 2:21.25 to her credit from a different meet in San Diego this past weekend, the Pt. Loma Nazarene Invite. That’s only about half a second off her overall 800 PR of 2:20.60 from the David Hemery Invitational indoors at Boston University this past February. Her previous outdoor 800 PR was a 2:24.28 from a meet last April at Moravian College in Bethlehem.