Sterling graduate Jessie Klenk, a Stockton senior, used a 76-second final lap to move up from 3rd to the lead and won the NJAC mile title Monday at Ocean Breeze.
Klenk ran a personal-best 5:17.62 at the New Jersey Athletic Conference Championships, finishing two meters ahead of Salini Iyer of TCNJ, who took second in 5:21.58. Klenk’s previous best mile time was 5:19.44 in her last race, the Gotham Cup on the same track. Before this year she hadn’t broken 5:25 in a mile indoors or out.
The NJAC title is Klenk’s second. She won the 1,500 last spring in 5:00.71 at Ramapo College in Mahwah. She was 2nd at the NJAC cross country championships this past fall on Stockton’s course in Galloway Township.
Klenk is versatile enough that as a freshman she placed 3rd in the NJAC heptathlon.
At Sterling, Klenk didn’t run indoor track and had a PR of 5:44.58 for 1,600 meters, so to win a Division 3 conference title is quite a remarkable accomplishment and a testament to her determination and perseverance.