Notre Dame’s Yared Nuguse runs 7:38.13 to set new NCAA 3k record


Through Jonathan Gault
February 12, 2022

BOSTON- Nuguse Yared like to cut it close. When he anchored the men of Notre Dame to victory in the distance medley relay at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships, he resisted the Stanford anchor Grant Fisher by 0.15 of a second. When he won the NCAA 1500m title later that year, the margin was even smaller: just three thousandths of a second. So when Nuguse set his sights on Alistair CraggThe NCAA 3000m indoor record of 7:38.59 at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational at Boston University on Saturday, we should have expected to be close.

Nuguse delivered the drama and set the record, using a final 400 of 58.03 (28.52 last lap) to drop below Cragg’s mark, with a time of 7:38.13, a time that would have him also ranks No. 7 on the all-time indoors list in the United States. The 22-year-old Notre Dame eldest now has quite the resume: two NCAA titles (and counting), two NCAA records (he ran 3:34.68 to break the 1,500 outdoor record last May) and a spot on the 2021 US Olympic team at 1,500.

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Immediately after his record run, Nuguse was at a loss for words. Shortly after the race, the Notre Dame coach Sean Carlson FaceTimed Cragg, now the head coach of Puma Elite Running in North Carolina, so current and former record holders can chat. But when asked to remember exactly what they discussed, Nuguse was still in shock.

“He was really glad I got to do it and just…uh…I don’t know,” Nuguse said, trailing off.

To be fair to Nuguse, he had a lot to deal with. Nuguse tested positive for COVID early last week, although he said he “didn’t have it badly” and it had minimal impact on his preparations (Nuguse said that, in accordance with the Notre Dame policy, he was still allowed to train alone). But as a result, Nuguse didn’t fly to Boston until this morning (he had to test negative this morning to be able to fly). Before the race, Carlson told Nuguse to be ready to slow down if he didn’t feel up to it halfway through the race, but there was no holding his charge today.

“I’m not the type of person to let those kinds of excuses get you down,” Nuguse said.

There was also uncertainty about the pacemaker situation, but ultimately Eric Holt and Jacques Randonboth lapping after races earlier in the day, did a good job of keeping Nuguse on track as Nuguse hit 1600 in 4:05.81, just behind the record pace of 4:04.58.

With Holt starting at 1km (2:33.47 for Nuguse) and Randon starting at 1700m, it was up to Nuguse to drive him home over the last 6.5 laps, and although he was able to run 30, 23 and 30.29 for rounds 10 and 11 (30.57 is a record pace), he slipped to 31.33 and 31.19 for rounds 12 and 13. Cheered by the crowd, however, Nuguse responded with a penultimate round of 29.51 before bringing it home with a tilt at the line to get the record.

Quick Take: What a Nuguse Run

Many talented runners have come through the NCAA since Cragg set that record 18 years ago, and until no one has beaten 7:40, let alone Cragg’s mark of 7:38.59. So, for him to finally fall, it took performance, especially since Nuguse was all alone for the last 1300 meters. It’s no shock that Nuguse broke that record – we all know how talented he is – but it was an incredible run.

And Nuguse may not be done breaking records. Notre Dame men line up for a DMR next weekend in South Bend, and between Nuguse, Samuel Voelz (1:45,800, Olympic Trials runner-up), and Dylan Jacobs (3:57 mile), they have the potential for a very fast team. That said, the college record of 9:19.42 set by Oregon last year will take some time as this team has featured NCAA individual champions in three of four runs (Cole Hocker, Cooper Teareand charlie hunter).

Quick Take: Nuguse respects how crazy Cragg’s record was

Comparing times run in 2004 to times run in 2022 is no longer an apples to apples comparison as super shoes/spikes have revolutionized the sport. Nuguse said he gained a new level of respect for Cragg’s record as he navigated the painful final mile tonight and hinted at the shoe’s advantage in his comments praising Cragg.

“I’m just impressed that Alistair Cragg, the guy who did it, did it 18 years ago,” Nuguse said. Now we’re in a time where the sport is getting so much better and so much faster, and it’s just an awesome time to be in it. And running this time 18 years ago, when I was about four, blows my mind. ”

It seems unlikely that Nuguse’s 7:38 will last as long as Cragg’s, especially if shoe technology continues to improve, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see it last quite a while. The simple fact is that 7:38 is ridiculously fast and most middle schoolers who can run that fast have already turned pro (see: Hocker, Cole). Nuguse reportedly garnered a lot of interest from sponsors after competing in the 2021 Olympics, but he’s opted to return to Notre Dame for one more year and has a chance to set collegiate records (specifically his brand). outdoors) out of reach.


There were a few other fast races at BU on Saturday apart from Nuguse – and not just the 5k which saw Grant Fisher smash an American record of 12:53. In the 1500s, Neil Gourley of Great Britain clocked a world record 3:35.32 (an overall best), a strong start for Gourley after joining Under Armor’s Dark Sky Distance team in Flagstaff this year. Gourley was British champion in 2019 but didn’t make the Olympic team last year as he tore his calf last year six weeks before the British trials. Back in full health, he made a promising start to 2022.

Sign of the times: 3:56 might not get you the NCAAs on the mile

Sam Ellis of Princeton ran an Ivy League record 3:56.87 to win the fast mile section at BU today (this was a separate race from the 1500 in which Gourley ran 3:35 ).

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the fastest time in Heps history probably won’t be enough to get Ellis to the NCAA, as he’s currently ranked 25th in the nation in the mile. Only the top 16 reported entrants make it to the NCAAs, and right now, Southern Utah Nate Osterstock is 16th on the list at 3:56.16. A sign that we are in a new era of running if ever there was one.

Although Ellis wanted to improve on his top seed (he ran 3:57.02 in Seattle in January), he said he was more focused on winning, hoping that with the talent gathered, it would take a quick time to win. But Ellis didn’t get a great position early, and the pace was slow halfway through (the leader hit 809 in 2:00.60 with Ellis back in 2:02.62). So even though Ellis closed in a very fast 1:54.25, he’ll likely be on the outside as far as NCAAs go in the mile.

Fortunately, Ellis also has a shot at qualifying in the 800 (where he’s ranked 22nd at 1:48.32) and the DMR, an event the Tigers hope to qualify for next week at Notre Dame.

Discuss tonight’s action on our popular fan forum/messageboard.

  • Mo: Grant MF Fisher just shocked the world – 4:57 last 2k for 12:53.73 INDOORS!
  • MB: Grant Fisher 12:53 – Drew Hunter 13:53
  • Mo: The Bowerman Track Club currently has 5 Sub 13:00 runners, 9 Sub 13:10
  • MB: Don’t forget the College Students: Adrian Wildschutt: 1:09 p.m. and Dylan Jacobs: 1:14 p.m.
  • MB: BU fast times not forgotten – Atkin, Raess, Mantz
  • Mo: Boston stacked 5000: Ahmed, Fisher, Kincaid, Mantz; GDS, Cranny, Frerichs, Kelati, Henes
  • MB: Who will end up with the best PR for 5K- G Fisher, Ches, Tiernan, J. Knight, McGorty?
  • Mo: Yared Nuguse 7:38.11 – New 3k collegiate record.

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