Mississippi State freshman Gabriel Moronta, a Pleasantville graduate, ran sub-1:50 Thursday for the first time in his life.
Moronta ran 1:49.33 in the trials of the Southeastern Conference Championships at E.B. Cushing Stadium on the campus of Texas A&M in College Station, Texas.
The winners of each of four heats and the next five-fastest half-milers advanced to the final. Moronta was third in the fourth and final heat and snagged the fourth of the five time qualifiers into the final.
Moronta was out in 52.95, which had him in fifth place with a lap to go. He closed in 56.39, passing two runners and getting into position to qualify for the final.
Moronta’s previous PR was a 1:50.36 two weeks ago at the Maroon and White Invitational on his home track in .
At Pleasantville, Moronta won the 2020 indoor Meet of Champions at Ocean Breeze – the last M-of-C that was held – with a scholastic PR of 1:52.46.
His outdoor PR entering college was a 1:54.74 – that’s without a senior year of racing – and he lowered that to 1:52.00 in his first collegiate race last month in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and then to that 1:50.36 two weeks ago.