Jefferson Is NCAA Mile Champion (03-13-04)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark--In the final day of the 2004 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, sophomore Sean Jefferson (Delray Beach, Fla.) stole the show and came out on top as he was crowned the NCAA Champion in the mile, turning in a new personal best of 4:00.16.
Jefferson looked confident and strong in the beginning of the race, but it wasn't until the 600 meter mark that Jefferson really broke free and took the lead. Jefferson slowly crept from the middle of the crop to first place. Once in the lead, there was no looking back and it was Jefferson the rest of the way.
Naturally, the newly crowned NCAA champion was pleased with the outcome.
"I have been going hard the 600 all year, so that was my plan today," said Jefferson. "I wanted to go a little harder at NCAA's then I did at Big Ten's. I wasn't planning on going that hard at 600, I just wanted to move up and be in position and get ready whenever anyone else was going to move. But when I went up to 600, no one else was really doing anything and I felt good, so I just went all out from there."
Jefferson's coach, Robert Chapman shared the excitement with the new NCAA Champion.
"Sean was the biggest threat in the race," said Chapman. "We really felt Sean was the most fit guy and he also had the best speed. We knew he could run with anybody. He did everything we talked about doing. He was in a good position early in the race and moved up at 800 meters half way through like we talked about. He is a great guy and he really deserves it and we feel real good for him."
Jefferson reached today's final after winning his heat and turning in a time of 4:02.54 during yesterday's preliminaries.
"It hasn't really hit me yet, maybe it will a little later," Jefferson added. "Obviously this is my biggest track accomplishment yet. This indoor season, I had been running really well and I knew I could run these types of races. It was just matter of time and a matter of getting it done."
Final Results in the Mile
Sean Jefferson, Indiana, 4:00.16
Nathan Robison, Brigham Young, 4:01.99
Jason Woolhouse, Oklahoma State, 4:02.00
Scott McGowan, Montana, 4:02.07
Erik Schmidt, Navy, 4:02.23
Steve Sherer, Michigan State, 4:02.47
Jordan Desilets, Eastern Michigan, 4:04.56
Eric Garner, Washington, 4:05.85
Chris Mulvaney, Arkansas, 4:06.83 * defending national champion in the mile*
David Freeman, Kentucky, 4:18.10
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