Fifth-year senior Erik van Ingen has qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the men’s 1,500. By recording a winning time of 3:38.06 at the Virginia Classic on Friday, the three-time All-American finished well under the the automatic standard time of 3:39.0. This year, the U.S. Olympic Trails will be held in Eugene, Oregon June 21-July 1.
At Virginia, van Ingen won the 1,500 by over two seconds. Isaac Preston of North Carolina was second in 3:40.16. There were three heats and 39 total runners competing in the 1,500 at the Virginia Classic.
“This performance is a dream come true for us,” Binghamton assistant coach Annette Acuff said. “We have been working for four years to make this a reality. I am so happy for Erik and for our program.”
“This is a good step for me,” van Ingen said. “I was pleased with how I ran the race because it means that going into the championship season, I have a great level of fitness.”
van Ingen will be the second Binghamton athlete ever to take part in the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials. Four years ago, Rory Quiller competed in the pole vault at the 2008 Trials. Like van Ingen, Quiller was a three-time All-American. In 2008, he captured the NCAA title in the pole vault at the Division I Indoor Track Championships.
Heading into the NCAA East Regional Championships in two weeks, van Ingen has recorded the fastest time in the region this year and the third-fastest time in the nation. Lawi Lelang of Arizona has run a 3:36.77 and defending NCAA Indoor Champion Chris O’Hare of Tulsa has clocked a time of 3:37.97.
The NCAA East Regional Track & Field Championships will be held May 24-26 and will be hosted by North Florida. The top 12 finishers in the region in an individual event will advance to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which will be held at Drake University June 6-9.
van Ingen is seeking to qualify for his second consecutive NCAA Outdoor Championship meet and the seventh NCAA Championship meet in his career. Last year, he was sixth overall in the 1,500, which earned him first-team All-America honors. van Ingen was also fifth overall in the mile at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships and seventh in the same meet this past March.