Since his return to the track, Yared Nuguse has been on fire. Last week, in his first 1,500m since he won the 2019 NCAA championships, he ended Cole Hocker’s 7-race winning streak and beat Hocker’s teammate, Cooper Teare, to the line by less than one-hundredth of a second, crossing the finish in 3:35.96. It was a school record and the best time in the NCAA this year, but it didn’t make the Olympic standard of 3:35. This week, he remedied that, and set a new NCAA record in the process.
During the preliminary round of the 1,500m at the ACC Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Thursday, Nuguse ran an entirely solo race, ultimately crossing the line in 3:34.68. This result not only got him the Olympic standard, but it beat the previous outdoor NCAA record of 3:35.01, set by Josh Kerr in 2017.
This was an important race for Nuguse, because he’s only competed twice in the 1,500 during the Olympic qualifying period. Had he not run the standard, he would’ve had to run at least three more races in order to have a World Athletics ranking. Without one of those two things, he would not have been eligible to be selected to the team. This result puts him in an excellent position heading into the U.S. Olympic trials, set to take place at Hayward Field in Oregon from June 18 to the 27th.