EUGENE, Ore.–A graduate of Cathedral High School in Indianapolis won the men’s 1,500 meter final at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon Sunday.
Cole Hocker, a 20-year-old from Indianapolis who now attends the University of Oregon, chased down Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz to finish with a time of 3:35.28. That was a personal best for Hocker, but below the Olympic standard of 3:35. Centrowitz was 3:35.34.
Notre Dame’s Yared Nuguse finished third (3:36.19) and got past the most recent national champion, Craig Engels, who is also this year’s fastest American.
World Athletics has introduced a rankings system, and Hocker’s world ranking is expected to climb enough to keep him above the Olympics cut.
“What I was told is if I place top 3 at trials, let alone win it, then that would be enough to secure my world ranking within the top 45, which I think is the number that is equivalent to that standard,” said Hocker.
Hocker said he has had a lot of help from his support system to get him to this point.
“I had some of the best training partners in Indianapolis when I went to Cathedral and some of the best coaches. I think they all were a major factor in getting me to where I am now,” said Hocker.
USA Track & Field will submit the team roster to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee on July 1. If Hocker isn’t named to the team, then Engels, who placed fourth and entered the race with the Olympic standard, would get the third spot.
In Tokyo, the first round of the 1,500 is Aug. 3. The semifinals are on August 5 and the medal final is August 7.