The field in the Wanamaker Mile was sensational, and the race ended up sensationally, too. Ten of the 12 men runners in the race turned in sub-4 minute mile performances, including Chris O’Hare (3:55.35) who became the 100th person to post a sub-4 minute mile at The Armory. Matthew Centrowitz, the 2012 Wanamaker mile winner, regained the title with a winning time of 3:51.35. Eight time champion Bernard Lagat returned after a four yaer absence at the games to finish in fourth place but smashed the Masters World Record by over 3 seconds with a time of 3:54.91. Edward Cheserek and Johnny Gregorek capped a stellar day for the Men of Oregon. After a dominating performance by teammates Eric Jenkins and Will Geoghegan in the 3k in the first distance race of the night, Cheserek and Gregorek closed the meet for the Ducks by both notching their first sub-4:00s. After running aggressively early, Cheserek said coach Andy Powell told him to drop back a little bit and he ran with the chase pack for most of the race, looking back repeatedly to check on Gregorek.
A race like this can be difficult for a guy that has never broken 4:00 before (Gregorek’s previous best was 4:01.65), as it’s tempting to get excited and not realize how fast you’re running in a field of this quality. But Gregorek played it well (coming through in 1:58.68 toward the back of the chase pack) and had the fitness to hang on and finish with a big pb of 3:57.47 (Cheserek was 8th in 3:56.43, the second-fastest time in the NCAA this year). Both agreed that it was special to accomplish the sub-4 feat at the Armory, as this was Gregorek’s home track for the past four years at Columbia while Cheserek raced here several times as a high schooler in New Jersey.