There are PRs and then there are PRs.
This one is remarkable.
Tobias Janssen, a Haddonfield junior, ran 4:17.57 to win the 1,600 Saturday at the Cherokee Distance Festival.
Janssen’s previous PR was a 4:31.92 at last year’s indoor sectionals, and his previous outdoor PR? He doesn’t have one. According to the MileSplit database, this was the first outdoor track race of his life. It looks like Janssen didn’t run outdoors as a freshman and of course his sophomore year was wiped out.
You’re going to get a lot of big PRs right now because so many distance runners are competing in good conditions outdoor for the first time in nearly two years.
But 4:32 to 4:17 is remarkable!
Janssen closed in 59.1 after splitting 66.2, 66.4 and 65.8. So that’s out in 2:12.6 and back in 2:04.9! Talk about negative splits!
Pitman senior Brady Shute ran 4:18.62, a huge PR for him as well. Shute’s previous 1,600 PR was a 4:29.00 at the Haddonfield Invitational in the spring of 2019.
There was a great battle for third, with West Deptford junior Jacob Cobb [4:20.34], Collingswood senior Josh Forrest [4:20.74] and Camden Catholic junior Billy Clewell [4:20.75] all finishing within less than half a second of each other.
Cobb dropped his PR nearly 30 seconds from a 4:49.24 as a freshman at the South Jersey Invitational. Forrest lowered his from 4:38.66 from a meet last year at the Bennett Center. And Clewell also had a previous PR of 4:38, also a 4:38.25 from the Bubble last winter.
That’s five runners under 4:21 in March!
And Audubon senior Zachary Williams wasn’t far off, with a 4:23.63, a seven-second PR for him as well.
As for Janssen, he’s the 11th Haddonfield runner under 4:18 for 1,600 meters outdoors:
4:09.30 … Colin Baker, 2009
4:13.26y … Greg Pelose, 2015
4:14.14 … Ben Potts, 2009
4:14.25 … Matt Nussbaum, 2010
4:14.3h … Jim Smith, 1980
4:14.50 … Chris Platt, 2003
4:15.0h … Dan Gough, 1987
4:15.52 … Derek Gess, 2018
4:15.92 … Jon Vitez, 2009
4:17.57 … Tobias Janssen, 2021
4:17.74 … Mike Burke, 200