BLACKSBURG, Va. — NC State junior All-American Ryan Hill, broke the longest-standing mark in the Wolfpack record book and became the first runner in school history to break the four-minute mile.
Hill, running in his first indoor meet of the season, easily won the mile run at the Virginia Tech Elite meet, posting a record-breaking time of 3:58.33, to claim his fourth school record. Hill, a two-time ACC champion in the 10,000 meters, had previously set school marks in the indoor 3,000 meters (7:50.78), the outdoor 1,500 meters (3:40.22) and the outdoor 5,000 meters (13:31.67).
Hill’s time also broke the Rector Field House record set by Brazil’s Hudson Souza in 2001.
Hill, who earned his third All-America award in cross country in the fall, had not competed in any running event since the NCAA Cross Country Championships in November.
“It was a good, strong race,” Hill said. “I wanted to set a good pace of 60 seconds per 200 meters and stayed pretty close to that for the entire race. At the halfway point, I was leading and on pace, so I tried to stay steady until the last lap.”
Hill looked up to see his split time at 3:30 heading into the final lap so he knew he had to run his fastest lap of the race to break four minutes.
“I just did an all-out kick starting at 200 meters and got in just over 28 seconds,” Hill said. “It felt pretty good.”
Hill got help from teammate John Wolfe, who was running as an unattached participant. Wolfe set the pace for the first 800 meters and dropped out. The Wolfpack was well represented in the race, with a total of 11 uniformed runners and three unattached participants. Senior Bobby Moldovan and junior Brian Himelright were third and fourth, respectively, behind Hill.
The previous record was held by four-time All-American Jim Wilkins, who ran a 4:00.05 mile in an outdoor race at NC State’s Derr Track in the spring of 1973. Hill came within two seconds of that mark at the same event in Blacksburg last year, but couldn’t quite eclipse it.
Hill now sets his sights on next weekend’s Husky Classic, where he set the school record in the 3,000 meters last season. He’s looking to get an NCAA automatic qualifying time off 7:52.50.
In other events on Friday, junior jumper Karimah Shepherd of Chesapeake, Va., won the long jump with a mark of 19-feet, 9-inches for her second win of the season. Freshman Rueben Malone, was fourth in the men’s long jump with a mark of 23-feet, 7 ½-inches.