EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State track & field junior Shane Knoll (Warren, Mich.) was honored as the Big Ten Male Track Athlete of the Week after his record-breaking performance in the Meyo Mile at the Meyo Invitational over the weekend. Knoll won the Meyo Mile, one of the most prestigious mile races in the nation, after clocking a 3:57.36, the second sub-four-minute mile in school history. Knoll’s time breaks a school-record that had stood for 37 years. The Big Ten honor is the first of his career.
Knoll’s time of 3:57.36 automatically qualifies him for the NCAA Indoor Championships by more than two seconds as the automatic qualifying standard is 3:59.50. Knoll defeated a field that saw three additional runners automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships and two more provisionally qualify. In all, five runners finished with times under four minutes in the event. Every runner in the race had run at least 4:04.00 in the mile leading up to the event, making it one of the most competitive events in the nation. Knoll’s time is the fastest in the Big Ten this season and currently ranks second in the nation behind only German Fernandez of Oklahoma State, who finished in 3:56.50 earlier this season.
Knoll joins former Spartan Ken Popejoy, who competed from 1971-73, as the only runners in school history to run a sub-four-minute mile. Popejoy had held the school indoor record since 1972 when he clocked in at 4:01.14. Popejoy currently holds the outdoor school-record of 3:57.00, set in 1973.
In the race, Knoll stayed around third and fourth place for the first several laps, but made a move to pass the field heading into the final 400 meters. Knoll extended his lead going into the final turn and held off the rest of the field, including Emanuel Lee of New Mexico, who finished half a second behind Knoll in second place.
Knoll and the Spartans will travel to Ames, Iowa to compete in the Iowa State Classic this weekend.