Kingsway grad Tom Cooke nears sub-4 mile plateau!!!

Tom Cooke, a 2012 graduate of Kingsway, is closing in on the 4-minute-mile barrier.

Cooke ran 4:01.08 Thursday night at the Hotel Warner Mile at Henderson High School in West Chester, Pa.

Cooke placed third behind Brian Crimmins, who ran 3:58.73, and Villanova grad Casey Comber, who ran 4:01.10.

The field went out a little slow, with Comber at 60.61, Crimmins 61.02, Jeremy Hernendez 61.25, Cooke 61.40 and Dave Minors 61.49.

The pace quickened on the second lap, and Cooke came through in 2:00.68 but in fifth place after a 59.29. He ran 62.21 on his third lap but closed in 58.20 to pass Minors and Hernandez and finish inches behind Comber.

This was quite a field Cooke raced against.

Crimmins is a 1:48.67 half-miler, Comber has run 3:57.80 indoors (and 3:37.76 for 1,500 meters), Minors has run 1:48.53 and Hernandez – a Clifton High graduate – ran 3:55.66 indoors in 2019, making him the 6th-fastest miler in New Jersey history (see complete list below).

What was Cooke’s previous mile PR? I’m not sure he even has one. He ran 4:11.84 for 1,600 meters at the 2012 Meet of Champions, and that converts to 4:13.30. He ran briefly for Felician University in Lodi, N.J., but never ran a mile. According to the MileSplit database, he only raced a handful of times on the track, never ran a mile and only ran one 1,500 – a 4:13.92 in a meet at Rider in April of 2013. 

Here’s a look at the fastest mile times ever run by New Jersey natives. The list may be missing a couple times between 4:00 and 4:01.08 from before 2000 but it’s complete since then. If you know of any missing times please let me know! South Jersey runners in bold-face.

ALL-TIME New Jersey MILE LIST
3:49.44i … Edward Cheserek [St. Benedict’s Prep], Boston, Feb. 9, 2019
3:52.2h … Marty Liquori [Essex Catholic], Kingston, Jamaica, May 17, 1975
3:53.16i … Robby Andrews [Manalapan], New York, Feb. 20, 2016
3:54.28i … Rob Napolitano [Red Bank Catholic], Boston, March 3, 2019
3:54.92i … Ford Palmer [Absegami], Boston, Feb. 26, 2018
3:55.66i … Jeremy Hernandez [Clifton], Boston, March 3, 2019
3:56.75 … Steve Slattery [Mount Olive], New York, June 3, 2006
3:56.9h … Ron Speirs [Paramus], Philadelphia, April 30, 1977
3:57.86i … Travis Mahoney [Old Bridge], Boston, March 3, 2019
3:58.02i … Craig Forys [Colts Neck], New York, Feb. 6, 2016
3:58.14i … Rob Novak [Bordentown], Boston, Feb. 11, 2012
3:58.52 … Chris Hatler [Pope John XXIII], Nashville, Tenn., May 31, 2019
3:58.4h,i … Roger Jones [Ramsey], Boston, Feb. 13, 1982
3:58.62i … Jim McKeon [Millburn, Johnson City, Tenn., Jan. 19, 1985
3:58.62i … Brett Johnson [Ocean City], Seattle, Feb. 9, 2013
3:58.78i … Tim Gorman [Christian Brothers Academy], Seattle, Feb. 11, 2017
3:58.90i … Ben Malone [Pascack Valley], Boston, Feb. 9, 2019
3:59.18i … Jeramy Elkaim [Livingston], Seattle, Feb. 23, 2013
3:59.2h … Cliff Sheehan [Westfield], , Philadelphia, April 27, 1985
3:59.35i … John Richardson [Ocean City], Lexington, Ky., Feb. 2, 2008
3:59.43i … Rich Kenah [Montclair Immaculate], Fayetteville, Feb. 12, 2002
3:59.60 … Mike Kerrigan [Blair Academy], Swarthmore, Pa., May 14, 2007
3:59.6h … Jim Crawford [Ridge], Modesto, Calif., May 23, 1970
3:59.74i … Colin Daly [River Dell], Boston, Feb. 15, 2020
3:59.85i … Mark Sivieri [St. Augustine], Boston, Jan. 28, 1994
3:59.91i … Brian Gallagher [Sterling], Boston, Feb. 14, 1998

3:59.98i … Christian Gonzalez [Franklin], Boston, Jan. 27, 2012
4:00.01 … Ed Moran [Notre Dame], Falmouth, Mass., Aug. 9, 2008
4:01.08 … Thomas Cooke [Kingsway], West Chester, Pa., Aug. 12, 2021
4:01.67i … Jimmy Wyner [Mainland Regional], Boston, Feb. 7, 2009
4:01.79 … Karl Savage [Eastern], New Britain, Conn., June 10, 2003

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