Awad Hits Qualifying Standard for Olympic Trials

SWARTHMORE - On a near perfect evening amid cool conditions, senior Thomas Awad hit the Olympic Qualifying standard and set a personal best time in the 1,500 meter run on Monday night at the Swarthmore Final Qualifying meet.

Awad crossed the finish line in 3:37.75, topping his previous best outdoor mark of 3:40.68 set in 2014 as his time qualified him to run at the United States Olympic Trials set to take place in July. The 2016 U.S. Trials Qualifying Standard is 3:38.00.

Awad’s performance was the top collegiate finish in the event and was good for fifth overall. Additionally, the mark was just .61 seconds off the Penn school record and was the second-fastest 1,500 time in Ivy history.

Awad ran amongst some of the world’s best in the final heat of the evening which was paced by 2008 Olympic silver medalist Nick Willis (New Zealand). Several professional runners who have represented their respective countries in world competitions and previous Olympic Games were also included in the stacked event.

Also racing in the discipline was junior Chris Hatler, who came in 18th place with a time of 3:44.68.

Sophomore Kylene Cochrane also had a solid evening on the women’s side, placing fourth in the 1,500 in 4:29.08. Her finish places her at No. 10 in the Penn record books and also marks a personal best. Classmate Gina Alm also raced in the discipline and crossed the finish line in 4:44.49 for 25th place.

Next up for the Quakers are the NCAA Championships and the East Regionals set to take place in Jacksonville, Fla. Thursday, May 26th through Saturday, May 28th. The top-48 individuals in each event qualify for the preliminary rounds and will be announced later this week.

1500m: 5-Awad (3:37.75); 18-Hatler (3:44.68)

1500m: 4-Cochrane (4:29.08); 25-Alm (4:44.49)