Former Notre Dame Star Runner Yared Nuguse Breaks U.S. Indoor Mile Record, Just Shy Of World Mark

Before Saturday, Yared Nuguse had never competed at the famed Millrose Games indoor track meet in New York City. But he showed no nerves in the marquee event of a meet that was televised on NBC. Instead, he ran the best race of his life.

With his parents and sister in the crowd, Nuguse won the mile in a U.S. record 3:47.38, shattering the old mark of 3:49.89 that Bernard Lagat set in 2005. It was the second-fastest indoor mile time ever, trailing just the world record of 3:47.01 that Yomif Kejelcha of Ethiopia ran in 2019.

The performance came two weeks after Nuguse ran 7:28.24 in the 3,000 meters at a meet in Boston, breaking Galen Rupp’s U.S. record that had stood for 10 years.

After Saturday’s race, Nuguse was asked which record he held in higher esteem.

“Definitely the 3:47,” he said. “I always just love the mile more. The 3k’s fun, but the mile, 1,5000, they’re definitely where my heart’s at.”

Nuguse, who turns 24 in June, was a star runner at Notre Dame, winning multiple national titles. He also finished third in the 1,500 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June 2021, clinching a spot in the Olympics. But a few weeks later, Nuguse sustained a quadriceps injury, forcing him to miss the Olympics.

Instead of turning pro, Nuguse returned to Notre Dame and set an NCAA record in the indoor 3,000 meters. Still, Nuguse said he wasn’t satisfied with his final college year.

In June 2022, Nuguse joined the On Athletics Club, a professional team based in Boulder, Colo. Since then, he has trained under On head coach Dathan Ritzenhein, a former U.S. record-holder in the 5,000 meters. His teammates include top runners such as Mario Garcia Romo of Spain and Ollie Hoare of Australia, both of whom raced in the mile on Saturday.

“I didn’t really complete any of the goals I really wanted to (since the Olympic Trials),” Nuguse said. “Coming into this summer and this fall and going into a pro lifestyle, I was really excited to get back out there and be the person I know I am…I think t’s been a great transition so far.”

Nuguse said he plans on running again in the 1,500 meters at a meet in Madrid, Spain on Feb. 22, which will be his final indoor race this season. That will give him some time to revel in Saturday’s performance, at least in theory.

How was Nuguse going to celebrate on Saturday?

“I don’t know,” he said, laughing. “Pack for Spain, I guess.”

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