At the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) convention on Friday morning in San Antonio, NCAA coaches voted 221-169 in favor of replacing the 1500m with the mile at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The vote is still subject to NCAA approval before the change becomes official.
Four years ago at the same convention a similar proposal was defeated, 47-214.
“A BIG thank you to everyone who has supported the Mile and BBTM,” Bring Back The Mile founder Ryan Lamppa wrote in an email. “This proposal is the right, best and simple thing to do in America for Track & Field and its promotion. There is more work to do, but today we’ll take the time to celebrate.”
The proposal was put forth by coach Eric Houle of Southern Utah University. In 2010, his star athlete, Canadian Cam Levins became the first sub-4-minute miler in school history, sparking major media interest for the school.
“The Mile can make a positive difference and create a foundation to welcome fans back to our beloved sport,” bringbackthemile.com posted ahead of Friday’s vote. “NCAA coaches have an opportunity to do the right, best thing and push this proposal through. Below are many of the reasons why they should vote yes.”
The last outdoor NCAA champion in the mile was Villanova’s Eamonn Coghlan, who in 1975 captured the national title in 4:00.06. The NCAA has never contested a women’s outdoor championship race in the mile.