Boston, MA—The men's track and field team finished competition today at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship. The Ephs scored 6 points, finishing tied for 38thoverall.
Those 6 points came through the efforts of Aidan Ryan '21, competing in the 3000 meter run finals. After qualifying for this meet with the 3rdfastest time in the nation, and sailing through the preliminary round the day before, Ryan looked well prepared to contest for his first All-America honors in the final today. A sizeable contingent of supporters had made the trip to Boston to cheer for Ryan and the women's team (who won the NCAA Championship), greeting Ryan with a wall of cheers on every lap.
The race started at a fair, but not blazing pace. Ryan was well positioned just behind the leader in the early going, as they passed through the mile in 4:31. With 1000 meters to go, the pace started to pick up significantly, as numerous competitors shouldered their way to the front of the race. Ryan was badly jostled, but managed to stay upright. For a moment, it looked like Ryan would be unable to hang with the new pace, as he moved backward through the field, but with 400 meters to go, he found a second wind. He ran his last 400 in 59 seconds, faster than all but the winner, moving from 8thuntil his finish of 3rdoverall in 8:16.71. That time is a personal best for the sophomore and a sophomore record for Williams. Done in a national meet, with the last mile run in 4:18, makes the time all the more impressive.
Head Coach Ethan Barron was proud of Ryan's performance as well as the team atmosphere, saying, "Aidan ran an amazing race. He showed the composure of a veteran for someone who it was his first trip to nationals. Aidan put himself on a lot of people's radar this season. We always knew what he was capable of. Now the nation knows.
"As a team, I couldn't be more excited about the direction of the program. The passion and persistence has been infectious. And now I see a hunger in each person that will continue to lead to new PRs and growth each season."
This concludes the indoor season for the Ephs. They will return to competition in two weeks, March 23, at the Point Loma Invitational in San Diego.