Eric Barnes, a Rutgers sophomore, won the 800 Saturday at the Princeton Sam Howell Invitational with a personal-best 1:53.44.
Barnes ran away from the field, beating second-place Jeremy Spiezio of Princeton by 10 meters. Spiezio, sixth in the Heptagonal XC Championships this past fall, ran 1:55.08.
Barnes came through 400 meters in 55.86, a half step behind Spiezio, but came back in 57.59, while Spiezio ran the second lap in 59.52.
Barnes’ previous PR was a 1:54.06 his junior year at EHT, when he placed fifth at the 2016 state Group 4 championships on his home track on English Creek Road.
Barnes went on to place third at the indoor Meet of Champions as a senior with a 1:56.43. He set an indoor PR this past winter with a 1:54.82 at the David Hemery Invite at Boston University.
Barnes’ previous collegiate-best was a 1:54.55 from last year’s Mets Championships at Rutgers, where he was fifth.