Samuel Gerstenbacher made his 2020 debut Friday night and responded by demolishing his two-year-old mile PR.
Gerstenbacher, in his first track race since he earned All-America honors in the steeplechase at the NCAA Division 3 Championships in May, ran 4:17. 40 and placed third at the NYC Invitational at the 168th Street Armory in New York.
Gerstenbacher, a senior at Elizabethtown, finished behind Nathan Hill of Middlebury (4:14.72) and Declan Hines of Johns Hopkins (4:17.01).
The Schalick graduate was out in 64.1, 65.3 and 65.6 and then closed with a 62.4, including a 30.6 final lap on the Armory’s banked 200-meter track.
He moved up from 6th to 3rd over the final 400 meters.
Gerstenbacher’s previous mile PR was a 4:19.33 at the same meet in 2018. In high school his fastest indoor 1,600 was 4:24.28, and he ran 4:20.31 outdoors at the 2016 Meet of Champions, his final high school race.
With his nearly two-second PR, Gerstenbacher moved up from No. 9 in school history to No. 5. His time was fastest by an Elizabethtown miler indoors since Russell Speiden ran 4:10.24 on the same Armory track in 2011.