May 11, 2015
SWARTHMORE, Pa. – Josh Ellis broke a school record that had stood for 42 years and American University track student-athletes set some personal records Monday at the Swarthmore Final Qualifier Meet.
Ellis ran 8:58.68 to finish third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Monday. His mark broke the old record of David Reinhart, who ran 8:59.44 in 1973. Ellis had run a career-best 9:00.38 to finish second at the Patriot League Outdoor Championships earlier this month.
The Eagle junior from Austin, Texas, is attempting to earn a qualifying spot for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds. The top 48 performers in each event in the eastern half of the U.S. earn an invitation to the East Prelims, to be held May 28-30 in Jacksonville, Fla.
Monday's result moved him from 47th to 41st in the steeplechase in the East, with one more significant weekend coming on the national schedule, as many large leagues host their conference championships this weekend.
Also for the Eagles, two women posted marks on AU's all-time lists.
Freshman Brianna Belo ran 2:14.42 in the 800, cutting nearly six seconds off her previous season-best and moving into fifth all-time at AU. Belo cut 1-1/2 seconds off the Eagles' school record in the women's 400 this season.
Sophomore Corina Velazco ran 4:38.16 in the 1,500 to improve her career-best and 10th-ranked mark by 0.01 seconds.
AU senior Tom Woermer won his heat in the men's 1,500 by cutting five seconds off his personal record at 3:55.78. Freshman Alaeldin Tirba led a large Eagle group in the 1,500 with a mark of 3:54.63.
Freshman Liam Purdy went 1:53.29 in the men's 800, posting the best mark of the season by an Eagle in that event.