Colin Daly threw his arms in the air and had a look of absolute astonishment on his face!
The senior at UPenn and former All-State stud at NJ's River Dell High had just joined one of the most prestigious clubs in track and field by blasting a SUB 4 mile on Saturday night at the David Hemery Valentine Invit. at Boston University!
Daly, a 2016 grad of River Dell, achieved the magical milestone when he stopped the clock at 3:59.74!!!!!!!! That's a huge drop of nearly four seconds from his previous PR of 4:03.65 that he ran on the same track last year at the Bruce Lehane Scarlet and White Invitational. Daly's best mile this season prior to Saturday was 4:04.60 at the Villanova Wildcat Invit. at Ocean Breeze on Feb. 1.
Watch the sub-4 mile right here!
After UPenn grad Elias Graca rabbitted the field through the half in 1:58.5 and 1K in 2:12.1, Daly found himself in fourth place. But he made a huge late charge to rally to place second in his heat and dip under 4!!! Charlie O'Donovan of Villanova placed first in the heat in 3:58.95.
Daly, just the 27th NJ High School grad to break the 4-minute barrier, had splits of 59.45, 1:59.94, and 3:01.35 before he banged out a final quarter of 58.39, including a 28.94 final lap
It was a hot heat for NJ stars.
In addition to Daly, UPenn soph. Ray Sellaro, who ran at NJ's North Hunterdon High, nearly went SUB 4 as well, running 4:01.40 in the same heat as Daly. It now seems like it's just a matter of time before Sellaro gets his SUB 4. And Rutherford High grad Sean Sullivan ran a PR of 4:02.26 to break the Boston College school record!
Daly, the fifth runner in Penn history to go under 4 and the third to do it indoors, said this is a moment he'll never forget!
"Breaking the barrier itself is a surreal moment itself,'' said Daly, whose high school PR of 4:10.19 came when he was third at the 2016 New Balance Indoor Nationals. "Seeing your name with a 3:59xx next to it is special, something you won't forget for the rest of your life. The best part, though, is having the family, friends, teammates, and coaches at the meet itself and from afar reaching out to you. I've received many congratulatory messages from all the people who've been on this journey with me, and it's a great reminder of how awesome this sport is, and the people who are in your corner.'''
Daly said the journey to reach this milestone is what he'll remember most.
"I think I ran 6:20 in my first mile in middle school track,'' said Daly, who along with twin brother, Will, helped River Dell win several state team titles indoors and outdoors. "So it's been a long journey to 3:59, but all the times in between have been building blocks and lessons to get to this point. Once again, another reminder that although breaking the 4 minute barrier is a tremendous feat, the process of getting to this point is what I'll cherish the most.''
Liquori, who starred at Essex Catholic High School and made the 1968 Olympic team as a 19-year-old, ran the still-standing NJ high school state record of 3:59.8 in 1967. He went on to run a PR of 3:52.2 in 1975, which stood as the No. 1 time by a NJ high school grad until Cheserek blasted a 3:49.44, No. 3 all-time on the World Indoor list, at the David Hemery Valentine Invit. at Boston University on Feb. 9, 2018.
Andrews, a 2016 Olympian who ran at Manalapan High, checks in at No. 3 with the 3:53.16 he ran at the 2016 Millrose Games at the NY Armory.
Only one high school in NJ has produced two sub 4 milers. Any guesses? Hey, no looking down!!!
It's Ocean City with John Richardson and Brett Johnson.
Here's the NJ list of Sub 4 Milers with their mile PR, high school they attended, and where and when they ran their PR. Most of the PR's listed below came indoors (22 of the 27).
NJ HIGH SCHOOL GRADS WHO HAVE RUN SUB 4 WITH THEIR MILE PR'S
3:49.44i Edward Cheserek, St. Benedict's Prep, Boston, Feb. 9, 2019
3:52.2h Marty Liquori, Essex Catholic, Kingston, Jamaica, May 17, 1975
3:53.16i Robby Andrews, Manalapan, New York, Feb. 20, 2016
3:54.28i Rob Napolitano, Red Bank Catholic, Boston, March 3, 2019
3:54.92i Ford Palmer, Absegami, Boston, Feb. 26, 2018
3:55.66i Jeremy Hernandez, Clifton, Boston, March 3, 2019
3:56.75i Steve Slattery, Mount Olive, New York, March 6, 2006
3:56.9h Ron Speirs, Paramus, Philadelphia, April 30, 1977
3:57.86i Travis Mahoney, Old Bridge, Boston, March 3, 2019
3:58.14i Rob Novak, Bordentown, Boston, Feb. 11, 2012
3:58.02i Craig Forys, Colts Neck, New York, Feb. 6, 2016
3:58.4hi Roger Jones, Ramsey, Boston, Feb. 13, 1982
3:58.62i Jim McKeon, Millburn, Johnson City, Tenn., Jan. 19, 1985
3:58.62i Brett Johnson, Ocean City, Seattle, Feb. 9, 2013
3:58.78i Tim Gorman, Christian Brothers Academy, Seattle, Feb. 11, 2017
3:58.90i Ben Malone, Pascack Valley, Boston, Feb. 9, 2019
3:59.18i Jeramy Elkaim, Livingston, Seattle, Feb. 23, 2013
3:59.21i Chris Hatler, Pope John, New York, Feb, 11, 2017
3:59.2h Cliff Sheehan, Westfield, Philadelphia, April 27, 1985
3:59.35i John Richardson, Ocean City, Lexington, Ky., Feb. 2, 2008
3:59.43i Rich Kenah, Montclair Immaculate, Fayetteville, Feb. 12, 2002
3:59.60 Mike Kerrigan, Blair Academy, Swarthmore, Pa., May 14, 2007
3:59.6h Jim Crawford, Ridge, Modesto, Calif., May 23, 1970
3:59.74i Colin Daly, River Dell, Boston, Feb. 15, 2020
3:59.85i Mark Sivieri, St. Augustine, Boston, Jan. 28, 1994
3:59.91i Brian Gallagher, Sterling, Boston, Feb. 14, 1998
3:59.98i Christian Gonzalez, Franklin, Boston, Jan. 27, 2012