Connor Melko, a Lehigh sophomore from Bishop Eustace, opened his season Saturday with a fast 1,500 in a meet on Lehigh’s Goodman track in Bethlehem.
Melko placed second in 3:52.88, which converts to about 4:11.5 for a full mile (or 4:10.0 for 1,600 meters). That’s far under Melko’s previous PR of 4:17.02, which he ran for a mile in Albany last winter.
Robert Guidicipietro of Wagner College on Staten Island won the race in 3:52.53.
Melko’s previous 1,500 PR was a 4:07.54 indoors in the Millrose Trials at the Armory in the winter of 2018, his junior year at Eustace. Of course, high school runners don’t run too many 1,500s. Melko had a high school 1,600 PR of 4:16.20 from a meet in the spring of his junior year at Holmdel, so his race Saturday was equivalent to about a 6-second PR.
Melko even doubled back to run 1:56.48 and place third in the 800. They were the first 800 and 1,500 of his college career and his first outdoor meet since the 2019 Meet of Champions at Northern Burlington.
Even doubling back, he missed his 800 PR by 1-100th of a second. Melko ran 1:56.47 to win the 800 at the 2019 Camden County Championships at Haddon Township.
Lehigh’s track and field web site has about 10,000 ads on it provides media guide or historical information about the program – school records, top-10 lists, conference champions, All-Americans, nothing – so I can’t provide any context for Melko’s 1,500 performance when it comes to Lehigh’s track history.
But I can tell you he now ranks 52nd in NCAA Division 1, according to TFRRS, and No. 12 among sophomores. His 3:52.88 is third in the Patriot League, behind junior Caden Foster of Army [3:49.92] and Bucknell’s Connor McMenamin [3:52.56]. His 1:56.48 is No. 5 on the Patriot League performance list.