NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Carleton College men’s track and field star Jerry Cook-Gallardo (Jr./Moscow, Idaho/Moscow) raced to a third-place finish in the finals of the mile run at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, earning All-America status for the second time in his collegiate career.
Cook-Gallardo grabbed the early lead and set the pace for the 10-man field, eventually crossing the line in a personal-best time of 4:08.54, which was also good for a new school record. He is Carleton’s first All-American in the mile, although the program had multiple All-Americans at the 1500-meter distance that was contested until 2004.
The third-place result matches the best finish for a Carleton male at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships since 1989.
During Friday’s preliminary round, Cook-Gallardo led wire-to-wire and posted a time of 4:14.55 to win his heat. In that race, his starting assignment placed him on the far outside, but Cook-Gallardo sprinted off the line and grabbed the lead following the staggered start. He stayed ahead of the pack over the duration of the race.
On Saturday, he followed a similar strategy although from a different spot on the starting line. Cook-Gallardo was setup near the inside, but again jumped out to the early lead, which he held until the start of the final lap. That is when Issac Garcia-Cassani made his move and edged Cook-Gallardo and St. Olaf’s Joe Coffey in a sprint to the finish line.
After taking time off for winter term finals and spring break, the Carleton men will open the outdoor season at the Hamline Invitational on Saturday, April 1.