EUGENE, Ore. – With a strong surge down the final straightaway, Air Force sophomore Zach Perkins claimed a runner-up finish in the 1500-meter run at the 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.
A tactical race from the start, with a 67-second opening pace, Perkins stayed within the front half of the field. He fell back to seventh when the tightly-packed group of 12 started to pick up the pace just prior to the bell and got to the outside with 300 meters left. Running fifth at the final turn, Perkins moved up into third at the start of the final straightaway. With one final kick in the final 50 meters, the sophomore crossed the finish line in a time of 3:50.39 … just 0.14 seconds behind the meet winner.
Oregon’s Mac Fleet held off Perkins’ late surge to win the 1500-meter title (3:50.25) on his home track at Historic Hayward Field. Oklahoma’s Patrick Casey finished third with a time of 3:50.60, while Wisconsin’s Austin Mudd (3:50.84) and Notre Dame’s Jeremy Rae (3:51.07) rounded out the top five.
Perkins, the Academy’s first-ever All-American in the 1500-meter run, tied with Nick Frawley (pole vault, 2008) for the men’s best finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships since 1964.