Making It To Next Level

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Two Ivy alumni reached new athletic levels this past weekend – one on a track, and one on an obstacle course.

Dan Lowry (Brown) and Liam Boylan-Pett (Columbia) took part in a state-record-breaking attempt in Saline, Mich., where the objective was to break the state record in the mile, 3:55.87.  The event was organized by Olympian 1,500m silver-medalist Nick Willis and featured many other top middle-distance talent including Miles Batty (collegiate indoor mile record holder) and Dan Clark (2012 Ryan Shay Mile champion).  Originally, the athletes believed that at most 1,000 people would show up to this free event.  But the news about the record-breaking attempt spread around the Ann Arbor area and over 3,000 people showed up.  Willis won the event but came up shy in breaking the record as he ran a 3:56.57.  Clark was second (3:57.40) and Batty was third (3:58.60).  In fact, the top seven finishers (out of 11 competitors) broke the 4:00/mile barrier.  Lowry ran sub-4 for the first time in his running career, edging out Boylan-Pett for 6th place, 3:59.30 to 3:59.50.  Boylan-Pett first broke the 4:00/mile barrier in January 2009.

For Lowry, he’s always dreamed of breaking the sub-4 barrier even though many people expressed to him that he was better at longer distances.

“It feels amazing to join the sub-4 club. It’s really the only concrete goal I’ve ever had in the sport, but I had kind of given up on the idea after I started focusing more on the 5k/10k. I was actually pretty skeptical about doing the race, but my coach, Ron Warhurst [of the Running Institute], was pretty persistent and knew I was ready for something fast and I eventually caved. And I’m really glad I did! I also feel pretty vindicated after many years of trying to convince coaches that I was a miler when they would always tell me I was a 10k runner. They’re still right and I’m probably never going to race a mile again, but I at least have some proof of what I was trying to tell them now.” – Dan Lowry

A video of the race is available on Youtube.

A few weeks ago, we told you about Princeton grad David Slovenski‘s quest to become the first American Ninja Warrior.  Last night, it was announced on NBC that Slovenski was one of nine competitors to have completed the Baltimore regional final course, earning an automatic bid to the National Finals in Las Vegas, Nev.  The obstacle course included six challenges from the regional trials (“quintuple steps”, “downhill jump”, “swing jump”, “prism tilt”, “circle cross”, and the “warped wall”) and four new challenges (“salmon ladder”, “rumbling dice”, “body prop”, and the “spider climb”).  If anyone happens to have a video of last night’s event, please send it to Dave – he hasn’t seen it yet.  The National Finals will begin airing on August 25th (on G4) and 26th (on NBC).  Check your local cable listings for channel details.

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