The U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association voted yesterday in favour of recommending the NCAA adopt the mile at the Division 1 outdoor championships instead of the often-contested 1500m, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The replacement of the 1500m still needs to be ratified by the NCAA to take effect with 2017 being the earliest the change could be adopted, according to FloTrack. The mile is currently contested at the NCAA Division 1 Indoor Championships, the highest tier of American collegiate athletics.
Major championships, including the Olympic Games and the IAAF World Championships (outdoor and indoor), contest the 1500m but some (not the Olympics, however) accept mile conversions as a means of qualifying.
A number of current and former Canadian NCAA athletes took to social media to express concerns over what could become a controversial change.
Justyn Knight – Syracuse
Why make it a mile when the rest of the world is preparing for the 1500m at World competitions.
— Justyn Knight (@justyn_knight) December 18, 2015
Jeremy Rae – Notre Dame
— Jeremy Rae (@Jeremy_Rae) December 18, 2015
Sheila Reid – Villanova
While the mile might be significant for men (sub-4) there is no such significance for women. This isn’t marketability it’s male nostalgia.
— Sheila Reid (@shewolfruns) December 18, 2015
Nicole Sifuentes – University of Michigan
As a foreigner in NCAA system, very thankful I was able to contest the 1500m while in college.
— Nicole Sifuentes (@ndsifuentes) December 18, 2015
Nate Brannen – University of Michigan
I love the mile and all but championship races need to stay with the 1500m. Hard starting a bunch of World class runners on a bend
— Nate Brannen (@natebrannen) December 18, 2015