Senior Travis Mahoney set a school record for the 3K run.
Senior distance runner Travis Mahoney continued his record-breaking indoor track season at the Atlantic Ten Conference Championships Feb. 18, by setting a new school record for the 3,000-meter run.
Wins in the one mile run and the 3K on the competition’s final day resulted in an A-10 Most Outstanding Performer award, along with a school record fourth place finish for the team.
“The goal for [Mahoney] was to go in there and win both events,” distance coach Matt Jelley said. “The mile was first and he was just running at the pace he needed to run at to win and he did just that.”
Mahoney jumped out to an early lead right from the start of the race and didn’t let up. Although runners up senior Logan Mohn from St. Joseph’s and junior Nick Crits from La Salle gave him a tight race, Mahoney was able to pull away in the final two laps. He finished with a time of four minutes and 12 seconds.
“I actually ended up going out a little slow,” Mahoney said. “I ended up just waiting until halfway through the race and [Jelley] told me to go and I started rolling from there. With 500 meters left I put a 10-meter gap on the field and finished from there.”
Although he had just wrapped up a victory in the mile event, Mahoney’s day was far from complete. The 3K was still ahead and with it came a daunting task.
“[Mahoney] hadn’t run in the 3K yet this year, and therefore he wasn’t seeded,” Jelley said. “We were one runner over the limit for the race to be one heat, so he had to be in the slower heat. He ended up being so far ahead that he ran most of it all by himself.”
“Since the slower heat was first up, we kept him at a pace that we thought he had the best chance to win the event and it worked out well,” Jelley added.
Mahoney finished with an event winning time of 8:20 while running in the slower of the two 3K heats, and stunned those in attendance at the Mackal Field House at the University of Rhode Island with his performance.
“It was impressive,” Jelley said. “The odds were really stacked against him, especially in that 3K, and he pulled through. [Mahoney] is one of those kids that when he’s told what he needs to do, he listens and responds every time.”
“After my race we were looking at the runners in the fast heat and matching their splits to mine,” Mahoney added. “They started falling off pace with about a mile left, and by the last lap I realized that I was going to win the event.”
Although he won the event, Mahoney said that the 3K and the circumstances that surrounded it made for a difficult situation.
“It was really tough,” Mahoney said. “It was like I was chasing something down that didn’t exist. There was no runner to chase and no concrete time that I knew I had to run. I was basically running blindly and chasing something that wasn’t there.”
Mahoney will look to ride the momentum of his productive day at the A-10 Championships into the Columbia Last Chance meet Friday at The Armory in New York. It will likely be his last shot at qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships for the mile.
“I think qualifying is realistic, but it’ll be tough,” Mahoney said. “Running 4:12 at the A-10 meet, I felt good. I definitely wasn’t as fresh as I was when I ran my [personal record] time of 4:02, so I think if I tune up a little and rest up, I think I’m going to be in good shape for qualifying. I guess we’ll see on [March 2].”
Drew Parent can be reached at email@example.com.