TCNJ junior Robert Abrams, who ran a huge 800 PR two weeks earlier, had a massive mile breakthrough over the weekend at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational at Boston University.
Abrams lowered his PR from 4:17.04 from a meet at George Mason in Fairfax, Va., just three weeks ago all the way down to 4:12.53.
It looks like he’s TCNJ’s fastest miler in nine years.
Abrams lowered his 800 PR from 2:00.22 to 1:56.77 late last month.
At Cherry Hill West, Abrams ran 9:34.27 on the track and 16:17 at Holmdel. But the shorter stuff wasn’t his strength. He had 1,600 PRs of 4:25.28 outdoors and 4:24.59 indoors (and 2:11.42 in the 800).
He got down to 4:21.76 as a freshman and 4:18.97 last winter, when he placed third in the NJAC meet. He was the NJAC XC champion this past fall and finished 9th in the NCAA Division 3 Atlantic Region.
Now he’s a miler as well.
The Valentine Invite was a two-day PR machine, and Abrams got into one of the fast sections of the mile and settled in among a group of guys running between 4:11 and 4:14 and reeled off a bunch of 31-point laps before finishing 4th in his race and 94th overall.
Abrams ran his first five laps between 31.4 and 31.9 before a 32.3 got him to three-quarters in 3:10.6. He closed in 31.4 and 30.7 for a final 400 of 62.1.
It might sound like he was far back in the pack, but this was a meet that produced 10 sub-4 miles, 35 sub-4:05’s and 76 sub-4:10’s, and the field was loaded with Division 1 runners and post-collegiates.
Don’t quote me but it looks like the only Division 3 runners to finish ahead of Abrams were Noah Falasco of RPI (4:05.10), Aidan Ryan of Williams (4:05.16).
With the performance:
♦ Abrams took over the NJAC lead. Lenape grad Kevin Lauer of Rowan is No. 2 with a 4:21.24 at Ocean Breeze over the weekend.
♦ Is ranked No. 16 in NCAA Division 1, although TFRRS, which does the official seeding for Division 3 nationals, lists him at 4:15.77, which may have something to do with converting times from banked tracks. The TFRRS performance site doesn’t explain the discrepancy.
♦ Is TCNJ’s fastest miler since Dennie Waite ran 4:10.88 in 2011. According to a story on TCNJ’s web site [https://tcnjathletics.com/news/2020/2/17/mens-track-field-abrams-named-njac-track-athlete-of-the-week.aspx] the performance makes him No. 3 in program history. But according to a doc file on the web site listing top-5 performances in TCNJ history that shows him trailing Matt Molski (4:09.71 in 2005) and Waite, marks from before 2000 are not included.
Abrams was named NJAC Track Athlete of the Week.