A month ago, Anna Sasse had never broken 2:19 in the 800. Now she’s one of the fastest half-milers in NCAA Division 3.
Sasse, a Williamstown graduate and a junior at Rowan, ran an incredible PR of 2:15.02 in terrible cold and rainy conditions and placed second (and first among collegiate runners) in the 800 at the TCNJ Invitational in Ewing.
Jordan Shead, a former Notre Dame All-America now competing post-collegiately and coaching at Ursinus, won the race in 2:05.25, just off her PR of 2:04.88 from last spring.
Sasse’s previous 800 PR was 2:17.86 a month ago at the Danny Curran Invitational in Chester, Pa. Her PR in high school was 2:20.84, which got her 5th place in the 2021 South Jersey Group 4 sectionals at Washington Township.
She broke 2:20 for the first time a year ago with a 2:19.55 at a meet in Baltimore, but that remained her PR until April 1 when she ran that 2:17.86 at Widener. Saturday’s race was her first 800 since then, so she lowered her PR exactly 4 ½ seconds in exactly four weeks and the span of two races.
Rowan’s school record in the 800 is 2:12.74 set by Fairleigh Dickinson transfer Marcia Baker from Newark West Side when she placed 2nd to Heather O’Shea of Mount Union in the 1994 NCAA Division 3 Championships in Naperville, Ill.
Sasse also PR’d this spring in the 1,500 with a 4:44.09 at a meet in Glassboro in April – equivalent of a 5:06.82 full mile. Her 2:15.02 ranks 33rd in all of NCAA Division 3. She’s No. 3 in the NJAC in the 800 and No. 1 in the 1,500 by more than five seconds.
Sasse will be the No. 1 seed in the 800 and No. 3 in the 1,500 at the NJAC Championships, also at Ramapo, this weekend.