What a breakthrough for Richie Castañeda!!! Check out what he did in the 1,500 at Penn today!!!

Rider’s Richie Castañeda, a freshman from Camden Catholic, posted a monster 1,500 PR Saturday in the Penn Challenge at Franklin Field.

In his first collegiate outdoor track race, Castañeda ran 3:53.41 and placed 6th racing milers from Penn, St. Joe’s and Villanova. Castañeda was the first freshman across the line, and he closed in 2:04.7 and 61.3.
Castañeda’s 3:53.41 converts to a 4:12.08 (or a 4:10.61 for 1,600 meters for comparison purposes). Considering his 1,600 PR is 4:21.75 from 2018 Parochial A sectionals at Donovan Catholic in Toms River, this is the equivalent of about a 12-second PR. That’s incredible!

Castañeda’s time is No. 9 in Rider history and No. 3 among South Jersey high school graduates, behind Terrance Armstrong of Camden [3:46.02 in 1995] and Ron Brock of Riverside [3:50.95 in 1996].

The 3:53.41 ranks Castañeda 4th in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in the early going this spring.

This was Castañeda’s first outdoor college race on the track, his first collegiate 1,500, his first race of any kind since 2020 IC4As in early March last spring in Boston and his first outdoor race since he ran a 1:57.81 800 PR at the Cherokee Night of Racing in June of 2019.

The fastest freshman 1,500 I could find by a Rider runner going back to 2008 was a 3:55.86 in 2008 by Christian Gonzalez from Franklin High School. Since nobody on the Rider all-time top-10 is listed as having run faster than 3:53.41 between Brock’s 3:50.95 in 1996 and Gonzalez’s school-record 3:42.92 in 2010, that means Castañeda’s time is fastest by a Rider freshman since at least 1996.

Most schools do keep freshman class records. If anybody knows Rider’s freshman 1,500 record, let me know!

What a race!!!

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