ON THIS DAY: Josh Kerr Makes Collegiate History

Collegians chased Sydney Maree for more than 36 years.

That ended on April 20, 2018, when Josh Kerr finally passed him.

All-Time Top-10 Collegiate Performers – Men’s 1500 Meters

Name
Program
Mark
Year
Josh Kerr
New Mexico
3:35.01
2018
Sydney Maree
Villanova
3:35.30
1981
Kyle Merber
Columbia
3:35.59
2012
Abdi Bile
George Mason
3:35.79
1987
Brian Hyde
William & Mary
3:35.84
1995
Joe Falcon
Arkansas
3:35.84
1988
Justyn Knight
Syracuse
3:36.07
2018
Miles Batty
BYU
3:36.25
2011
Robert Domanic
Ole Miss
3:36.33
2018
Lawi Lalang
Arizona
3:36.34
2014

Exactly two years ago, Kerr went 3:35.01 at the Bryan Clay Invitational to break Maree’s near 37-year-old collegiate record of 3:35.30 in the 1500 Meters. It was a sensational effort from Kerr as he won by a full second over Syracuse’s Justyn Knight (3:36.07) and Ole Miss’ Robert Domanic (3:36.33), who now sit as the seventh- and ninth-fastest collegians in history.

Kerr made overtures to the record the previous year when he went 3:35.99 at the same meet to notch what was the sixth-fastest mark in collegiate history (It is now seventh). Therefore, he was just the sixth man in collegiate history to go sub-3:36.00 in the event during the collegiate season.

The Scot wouldn’t be denied inside Cougar Stadium at Azusa Pacific University the following year. After setting out in 41.47 for the first 300 meters, Kerr settled into a groove at 59.89 and 58.81 for his next two laps before dropping the hammer for a 54.85 final lap.

Before Kerr, the fastest collegian since Maree set the record at the 1981 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships was Kyle Merber of Columbia. Merber went 3:35.59 at the Tuppeny Twilight Last Chance Meet in 2012 and used an incredible kick to go from a distant fifth to first in the final 150 meters.

Kerr gave other collegians confidence that venerable collegiate records could be toppled.

Since then, three more collegiate records that were set before the turn of the millennium met their demise: 2019 The Bowerman winners Grant Holloway and Sha’Carri Richardson took down long-standing marks in the 110 Meter Hurdles (12.98) and 100 Meters (10.75), respectively, while 2019 The Bowerman finalist Mondo Duplanis knocked off a 24-year-old pole vault record with a 6.00m (19-8¼) clearance.