PARK RIDGE, Ill. Following his record-breaking performance at the Meyo Classic, senior Sean Jefferson was named Co-Big Ten Male Athlete of the Week, the Big Ten Conference announced on Tuesday, Feb. 8.
Jefferson broke three-time Olympian Jim Spiveys 23-year old school record in the mile with a career-best run of 3 minutes, 56.44 seconds. He finished in first place ahead of his twin brother, John, who was second with a personal-best time of 3:57.85. Both runners surpassed the NCAA automatic qualifying standard of 3:59.30. Spivey previously set the record in 1982 at the TAC Championships with a 3:57.04.
The Jeffersons became just the 14th set of brothers and 4th set of twins to break four minutes in the mile. They are also just the 265th and 266th Americans to break the four-minute mark.
Although research is still being done to verify where the times stand in collegiate history, it is almost certain that Seans run will be a collegiate top-10 mark.
Jefferson shares the Big Ten weekly award with Nick Willis of Michigan. Willis ran the nations fastest 3,000-meter time of the season clocked at 7:48.65 at the Meyo Classic. He finished ahead of Indiana senior Stephen Hass, who also broke an IU school record, taking two-time Olympian Bob Kennedys 14-year old mark with a run of 7:51.00. His time was nearly five seconds better then Kennedy ran in a 1991 meet against Tennessee (7:55.93). In the process, Hass also passed the NCAA automatic qualifying standard of 7:56.00.