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Randon Shatters Four-Minute Barrier in Mile Run

James Randon. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
James Randon. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Randon Becomes First Yale Athlete to Finish Mile in Under Four Minutes on Indoor Track

BOSTON—In the final day of competition at the IC4A Championships, a Yale athlete made a historic achievement in the mile run. Junior James Randon won the mile run by more than four seconds, and his winning time of 3:58.85 marks the second time he has broken the Yale record this season.

Running a mile in under four minutes was once thought to be impossible, until Roger Bannister proved the world wrong with a time under four minutes in 1954.  Nonetheless, this is a feat that only a few collegiate athletes achieve each year, and no Eli had ever achieved this mark on the indoor track. Randon's performance was not unexpected, however, as he has been inching toward this goal for years. In 2015 he ran a 4:02.18 at the Terrier Classic, and in 2016, just weeks before the IC4A Championships, Randon finished in 4:00.53 at the Valentine Invite. As each successive second often becomes more and more difficult to shave off, Randon's time of 3:58.85, which is more than a second and a half faster than his previous best, is especially impressive.

"The four-minute barrier has been something I've been hoping to break," commented Randon following the meet. "I couldn't have been happier with my final race of the season."

Alongside Randon, junior Andre Ivankovic moved closer to the four-minute mark himself, with a new personal best in the mile of 4:07.00. He finished fifth in his best showing at the IC4A Championships of his collegiate career.

After exerting a huge effort to run an impressive personal best in the prelims, sophomore Matt Chisholm finished eighth in the finals of the mile run as well (4:29.76).

Austin Laut, the only freshman to compete for the Elis on Sunday, finished fourth in the pole vault. His mark of 4.95m is slightly off his personal best, but this performance shows how well he can compete in a competitive field under pressure and sets him up for a strong outdoor season.

After qualifying from the prelims, the distance medley relay team raced again on Sunday in the finals. The team ran a blistering time of 9:53.35 in the prelims and returned to run under 10 minutes in the finals, with a time of 9:59.04. With sophomore Thomas Gmür on the 1,200-meter leg, junior Chandler Crusan on the 400-meter leg, senior Alexander McDonald on the 800 and freshman Trevor Reinhart on the mile-long anchor leg, the team finished sixth, to earn three points for the Elis.

Overall, the team earned 22 points, to tie for 15th place at the IC4A Championships. Now with the indoor portion of the season behind them, the team has a bit of time to relax and recover before the meets begin on the outdoor track and field starting with the Sam Howell Distance Night on Apr. 8.

Full results from the IC4A Championships can be found here.

Report by Joseph Battles '18, Yale Sports Publicity