Jake Edwards has been chasing things his whole life.
He’s caught up to most of them, whether it be an OHSAA Division I state championship in the mile run or a track scholarship to The Ohio State University, but there was one thing that eluded him for quite some time … key word being was.
The former Delaware Hayes standout successful ran a mile in under four minutes early last month — something many thought to be impossible at one time — checking off a dream he’s been running toward for years. Edwards posted a mark of 3:59.47 in the one-mile run during the Midwest Indoor Track and Field Open, hosted by The SPIRE Institute in Geneva, back on Feb. 1 — an effort even he didn’t see coming.
“I ran in a couple smaller meets leading up to the event and neither were fantastic,” Edwards said. “They were just kind of to blow off some steam. I went into it (SPIRE) not knowing I could do it, but the race itself was set up to go under four.”
Nate Brannen, a two-time Olympian from Canada, was also in the race, winning with a mark of 3:58.04. Edwards, who finished second, said his goal was to keep close to him.
“I just sat on him for the first half and then took a lead before he caught me heading into the last lap,” he said. “There was a clock right at the finish line and as I made the last turn it read 3:52. I watched it count up … 53, 54, 55 … and I just started running as hard as I possibly could. I hit the line at 3:59, saw my official time and had a feeling somewhere between elation and relief I’d say … it’s something I’ve seriously been trying to do for the last six years.”
Edwards, who ran a 4:09.89 to win the mile run as a high school senior at the 2007 State Track and Field Championships, said his tentative goal for this year was to notch the four-minute mile. Since he checked that off his to-do list so early, he’s had to adjust his goals a bit.
“I was certainly surprised to get it out of the way so early,” he said.
The time qualified him for the the US Indoor Track and Field Championships last month at the Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico — an event he didn’t do as well as he would have liked, finishing 14th of the 15 runners in action with a time of 3:53.56 in the 1,500-meter run.
“I didn’t do as well as I wanted to,” Edwards said. “I got to run against some of the sport’s top guys, but the race was on a 200-meter track and was probably the most physical race I’ve ever been in. I’ve got some nice races coming up, though, and my goal is to get a qualifying time so I can compete in the outdoor national championships in Oregon in late June.”