New Mexico's Josh Kerr Named USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week
Release courtesy of New Mexico Athletics
NEW ORLEANS — After setting the world lead in the 1,500-meter run Friday, New Mexico sophomore Josh Kerr was named NCAA Division I Men's National Athlete of the Week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Tuesday.
In his first race since winning the NCAA mile title last month, Kerr ran a personal-record time of 3 minutes, 35.99 seconds to win the 1,500-meter run at the Bryan Clay Invitational this past Friday in Azusa, California.
In a field that featured a number of professional runners and elite collegians, the Edinburgh, Scotland, native emerged victorious, outkicking the field late to surge into the record books and into the world lead.
His time is the best 1500-meter time in the world in 2017 by nearly half a second and ranks as the best time in the NCAA by almost two full seconds.
He is also the sixth-fastest runner in the event NCAA history, sitting just .69 seconds off Sydney Maree's 36-year-old NCAA record in the 1500. He is the first sophomore in NCAA history to run sub-3:36, and he is just the second collegian ever to record such a time in the month of April.
Additionally, Kerr also eclipsed the New Mexico record (previous record was 3:37.35 set by two-time NCAA mile champ Lee Emanuel) and the Mountain West record (previous was 3:36.25).
He also set a new Bryan Clay Invitational and Cougar Athletic Stadium record (formerly 3:41.17 set by UNM alum Ross Millington in 2012) and a new Under 20 Scottish national record, (formerly 3:36.6 set by Graham Williamson in 1979).
On top of all of that, Kerr also met the qualifying standard for the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.
Kerr's selection is the New Mexico cross country/track & field program's third-ever National Athlete of the Week honor. He joins Courtney Frerichs, who earned the honor in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in May 2016, and Charlotte Arter, who was selected during the 2014 cross country season.