Schalick graduate and former Elizabethtown All-America Samuel Gerstenbacher shaved 10 big seconds off his steeplechase PR Friday night at Princeton.
Gerstenbacher placed 3rd at the Larry Ellis Invitational in 8:51.03, lowered his personal-best from 9:00.21, which he ran at Swarthmore in May of 2019.
Still trying to figure this out, but this may be an all-time South Jersey alumni record for the 3,000 steeplechase. Cinnaminson graduate and current Duke junior Mike Ungvarsky ran 8:53.10 in Raleigh, N.C., last month. If you know of any South Jersey natives who have run a steeplechase faster than 8:51.03 lemme know in the comment’s section!
Gerstenbacher finished only 2.53 seconds behind winner Michael Keenan, a sophomore at Penn from Wilmington, Del.
Gerstenbacher was out in 38.23 for his first 200, then reeled off steady laps of 71.21, 70.74, 70.27, 71.10, 71.67 and 71.13 before closing in 66.70.
I went back 20 years and these are the fastest times I found from South Jersey steeplechasers:
8:51.03 … Samuel Gerstenbacher [Schalick, F&M Track Club, April 15, 2022 [Princeton]
8:53.10 … Michael Ungvarsky [Cinnaminson, Duke], March 25, 2022 [Raleigh, N.C.]
8:53.66 … Connor Herr [Shawnee, ???], May 10, 2015 [Philadelphia]
9:04.63 … Greg Pelose [Haddonfield, ???], May 4, 2019 [Worcester, Mass.]
9:05.48 … Lou Corgliano [Hammonton, ???], March 30, 2018 [Gainesville, Fla.]
Of course, the USATF is such a disgrace they don’t maintain any all-time U.S. lists. But the IAAF – now called World Athletics – has a fabulous database that’s sortable by country, so it becomes the de facto U.S. performance list. It includes very deep performances lists going back to 2006 and somewhat deep lists going back to 2000. I went through each one last night and didn’t see any other sub-9:10 times, although I certainly could have missed some.
If anybody knows of a steeplechaser from South Jersey who ran sub-9:10 lemme know!