Cinnaminson graduate Mike Ungvarsky, in his first race since suffering a stress fracture in March, ran the fastest steeplechase ever by a South Jersey alum.
Ungvarsky, a grad student at Duke, ran 8:46.16 at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships at Duke’s Morris Williams Track and Field Stadium in Durham.
It was only his second race this spring and first since March 25, when he ran 8:53.10 in the steeple at the Raleigh Relays.
His time is No. 17 in the NCAA East Region and qualifies him for the NCAA East Preliminary.
Ungvarsky closed in 4:38.82 for his final 1,600, 2:16.41 for his final 800 and 65.84 for his final 400.
When Ungvarsky ran 8:53.10, that broke the South Jersey alumni record of 8:53.66 set by Shawnee graduate Connor Herr at the 2015 Penn Relays when he ran for Michigan.
But Sam Gerstenbacher – a Schalick and Elizabethtown graduate – ran 8:51.03 at Princeton in April to claim the record from Ungvarsky, who then reclaimed it this past weekend.
This was only Ungvarsky’s second steeple since the 2019 outdoor season. His PR before this spring was 9:02.04 from the 2019 Penn Relays.
The top 48 competitors in each individual NCAA event qualify for two NCAA preliminary meets the weekend of May 25-28. Duke is in the East Region, so Ungvarsky will race in the NCAA East Preliminary at Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex in Bloomington, Ind.
The top 12 finishers in each of the two preliminary meets advance to the NCAA Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., June 8-11.