Track & Field
Former Golden Eagle Tommy Schmitz breaks Four-Minute Mile Barrier

Tommy Schmitz (right) becomes first former MU athlete to record a sub-4:00 time in the mile

Tommy Schmitz (right) becomes first former MU athlete to record a sub-4:00 time in the mile

April 28, 2009

BERKELEY, Calif. -- Former Marquette distance runner Tommy Schmitz (Mineral Point, Wis., (2002-07)) recorded the first sub-4-minute mile of his career Saturday afternoon at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational at the University of California-Berkeley to become only the 323rd United States-born athlete to achieve the feat.

"When I heard my time I was both estactic and relieved," said Schmitz. "Running a sub-4:00 time for the mile is one of those goals that few can achieve. I have been building both my fitness and experience levels over the past couple of years and now feel like I can run with anyone in the country. Seeing the names on "The List" is a great feeling to know that I am in the company of some of the best runners of all time."

The race, which was called the Don Bowden Invitational in honor of the first American runner to break the barrier, was won by Michael Coe of Cal at 3:56.18. Schmitz, competing for Saucony/WRRT, finished third in 3:58.92 and became the first former MU runner to ever achieve the feat.

"I really feel that the Marquette University family was a big contributor in all of this, having given me the opportunity to compete against the best runners in the country. It is an honor to be the first ever Marquette athlete to run under the mark and I really hope that a few other guys follow me soon on that list. Coach (Mike) Nelson is a great coach and should put an athlete on the list in the years to come."

Former MU head coach and all-American Dave Uhrich still holds the Marquette record in the indoor mile at 4:03.00, which he set in 1983.

The current Golden Eagles squad will return to action this weekend at the 2009 BIG EAST Outdoor Championships in Villanova, Pa.

Complete Results

"The List" (Prior to Schmitz's race)

 

 

To view the video of Schmitz's performance, please click here.

For Schmitz's post-meet interview, please click here.

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