Willis Runs First Sub 3:50 Mile
Nick Willis has run his fastest ever mile race in the Bislett Games Diamond League Dream Mile in Oslo, Norway on Thursday morning (NZT), going under 3:50 for the first time, stopping the clock at 3:49.83.
Willis finished second in a strong field behind world indoor champion Ayanleh Souleiman from Djibouti who recorded 3:49.49.
The time was a personal best for Willis, surpassing the 3:50.66 he ran at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon in 2008 and just 0.75 outside the New Zealand record. It also moves him up 31 places on the world mile all-time list from 84th to 53rd.
The New Zealand mile record belongs to New Zealand running legend Sir John Walker at 3:49.08. Walker’s record coincidently was set when he also finished second in the Bislett Games Dream Mile in 1982, 32 years ago.
Meanwhile, the other New Zealander competing at the latest Diamond League meeting, Zane Robertson, finished 13th in the 5000 in 13:27.09.
Willis and Robertson will next race at the Ostrava Golden Spike meeting on 17 June where they will face each other in the 3000.
The next round of the Diamond League will be in New York on Sunday (NZT) where Valerie Adams will be aiming for her 50th consecutive victory in the shot put and Nikki Hamblin will race in the 3000.
Ratcliffe Wins NCAA Title
On the same day, Hamilton hammer thrower Julia Ratcliffe won a prestigious NCAA title (the USA University championship) in Eugene, Oregon. In doing so Ratcliffe became the first New Zealand athlete to win an NCAA outdoor field event title. Kim Smith, Kay Gooch, Jaclkie Goodman and Dean Crowe won NCAA outdoor track titles.
Ratcliffe becomes the first ever NCAA champion for Ivy League Princeton University, throwing 66.88 and winning by over two metres. The 20 year old Econocs student will head to to the UK shortly to train ahead of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, where she will start as a medal chance for New Zealand.