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UNM's Kerr Breaks Records with Historic Run in Wanamaker Mile
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(By NEW YORK — Already among the best in the collegiate ranks, Josh Kerr is quickly making a name for himself on the international stage.

Kerr, a redshirt sophomore on the University of New Mexico track & field team, ran to second place in the elite Wanamaker Mile at the 2018 NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday at The New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory in New York City.

The reigning NCAA champion in the mile run, Kerr clocked a spectacular time of 3 minutes, 54.72 seconds in nationally televised race on NBC, moving to fifth in NCAA history and breaking the New Mexico and Mountain West records in the event.

"It was a great run for Josh," New Mexico head coach Joe Franklin said. "For being as young as he is at 20 years old, for him to go against a field that included six Olympians and beat all but one, it's an outstanding accomplishment.

"He's one of the best young runners in the world."

Kerr opened the race in the back half of the 12-runner field, sitting in eighth place through 800 meters. He climbed a couple of slots to sixth at 1200 meters, before making his move one the final two laps.

Kerr finished the final 200 meters in 27.69 seconds, moving from third place to second place over the bell lap. His split over the final 200 was the best by any athlete over the entire race.

He also nearly caught the eventual winner Chris O'Hare at the line, as O'Hare won in 3:54.14.

Nonetheless, Kerr's time of 3:54.72 currently ranks third in the world in 2018, behind Edward Cheserek, who ran a time of 3:53.85 earlier Saturday in North Carolina, and O'Hare.

Cheserek, formerly of the University of Oregon, owns the NCAA record of 3:52.01, while O'Hare, formerly from the University of Tulsa, ranks third in NCAA history (3:52.98).

The only other athletes that have run faster miles than Kerr in NCAA history are Arizona's Lawi Lalang (3:52.88) and BYU's Miles Batty (3:54.54).

However, Kerr is the only athlete in NCAA history to rank top-six in both the mile and its outdoor counterpart, the 1500. Kerr ran a time of 3:35.99 in the 1500 last spring to rank No. 6 in NCAA history.

Additionally, Kerr broke both Batty's Mountain West mile record and the New Mexico mile record of 3:57.62 set by two-time NCAA champ Lee Emanuel in 2010.

Kerr also all but ensured he will qualify to the NCAA Championships in March, where he will defend his 2017 NCAA title in the mile.