Matt Parker/Oregon Track and Field
- University of Oregon runners Cooper Teare and Cole Hocker both broke the NCAA mile record on February 12 in Arkansas. They ran 3:50.39 and 3:50.55, respectively.
- Their teammate Charlie Hunter finished third in the race, and his 3:53.49 set an Australian record and moved him to sixth on the collegiate indoor mile list.
- Just two weeks ago, the Oregon middle-distance runners set a record in the men’s distance medley relay.
Two University of Oregon runners shattered the collegiate mile record at the Tyson Invitational on February 12 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Cooper Teare, a 21-year-old senior from Alameda, California, ran 3:50.39, taking 1.62 seconds off the previous NCAA mark of 3:52.01, set in 2017 by Edward Cheserek, also of Oregon. Right on his shoulder was his teammate, Cole Hocker, 19, a sophomore from Indianapolis, who ran 3:50.55, lowering his previous mile best by almost eight seconds.
Teare and Hocker currently rank seventh and eighth on the world all-time performance list for the indoor mile.
Their teammate, Charlie Hunter, 24, finished third in the race in 3:53.49, setting an Australian record and moving him to sixth on the collegiate indoor mile list. The following day, Hunter set
another Australian record, running 1:45.59 in the 800 meters.
Their efforts were recognized on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
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Teare and Hocker have now qualified for the 1500 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June, to be held on their home track at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. Based on their performances last weekend, they join a crowded field of Americans in contention for a spot on the Olympic team.
Teare, Hocker, Hunter and their distance coach, Ben Thomas, weren’t immediately available to comment to Runner’s World.
The blazing-fast times come on the heels of a record-setting relay performance for the Oregon men’s middle-distance runners two weeks ago. On January 29, at the same track, the men’s distance medley relay (a relay with legs of 1200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters, and 1600 meters) set an all-time world best, running 9:19.42.
The efforts of Hocker, Luis Peralta, Hunter and Teare weren’t eligible as a world record, however, because the members of the team compete for different countries.
What accounts for Oregon’s record-breaking winter in college track?
Classes at the University of Oregon are largely virtual, on Zoom, these days, freeing athletes to train in different spots away from Oregon. Hunter’s Instagram shows he did a stint at altitude in Flagstaff, Arizona, in December and January.
Typically, college distance runners have to peak three times a year—for cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track—and they spend a significant amount of time traveling to different races. But the pandemic has significantly limited the racing schedule for NCAA runners, leaving them to train for months at a time. It appears to be paying off for many.
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