EUGENE, Ore. – Wisconsin men’s track and field’s Ollie Hoare capped off his storybook sophomore season with a fairytale ending, winning the 1500 meters at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday at Historic Hayward Field.
Hoare took down three-time NCAA champion Josh Kerr of New Mexico and the rest of the talented field as the Badger sophomore crossed the line in 3 minutes, 44.77 seconds, which included a final lap of 53.01.
“The caliber of the field this year was incredible,” Hoare said. “I really wanted to go in and see what I could do. In the beginning of that race it seemed like it was anyone’s race, and that last bit when I came off that straight, I just pumped my arms and pushed through and I was getting closer and closer to that line. I think for me, by that point I was thinking ‘I’ve got this, I’m going to take out this race’. I always go into races thinking like that, but definitely having a deep field like that it’s hard to put yourself as the winner, but I really gave it my all and I came out with an amazing win.”
“As coaches, we get to be around some amazing athletes at some incredible events,” UW Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Mick Byrne said. “Tonight was one of these special nights as Ollie did a super job executing our race plan. I knew it would come down to the last 200 meters and possibly the last 100. I emphasized patience as I knew Ollie had the extra gear to run with anyone out there, but I also knew that he had to use that gear last. He made the last move and it was decisive."
It marks the first time a Badger has won the event since Mr. Mile of Wisconsin and UW legend Don Gehrmann won a trio of NCAA outdoor titles from 1948-50.
“It’s a crazy year,” Hoare said. “Something’s clicked for me and I’ve really taken advantage of my coaches and my teammates back in Madison. Just taking everything into account and making everything work for me. I took a more hands-on approach in my training and it really showed me that I can be a formidable athlete, an NCAA-qualifying athlete. I didn’t want to put myself in a position where I was thinking I could be the third-best or second-best, I wanted to be the best.”