Miles Batty, a senior long-distance standout on the track team, ran his last race in Provo as a Cougar Saturday at the Clarence Robison Invitational.
Batty, who currently holds the NCAA indoor mile record at 3:54.54 and was voted national track athlete of the year in 2011, said he hopes to run in the Olympics next.
The event of the day was the men’s one mile race with Batty attempting to join former Cougar, Doug Padilla, as the only men to ever run a sub-four-minute mile in the state of Utah. Padilla, a two-time Olympian, made history in 1983 when he ran the mile in 3:57.23, a feat that has remained unmatched for almost 29 years.
Padilla is currently the track administrative assistant at BYU and showed his support for Batty by standing in as the men’s one-mile race honorary starter. Kyle Perry, a former NCAA steeplechase national champion and BYU graduate, also helped out by setting the pace for Batty the first two and a half laps.
After running just over a minute per lap for the first three laps, Batty needed to run the last lap in 57 seconds to finish in under four minutes but slowed down considerably as he hit the home stretch ending with a time of 4:04.53.
After the race, Batty said that he was happy with his performance but that his time was slower than he thinks he is capable of.
“I figured it would be fun to go for it, but at altitude, at least for me, I never know what’s going to happen,” Batty said.
At 4,600 feet, the Clarence F. Robison track at BYU poses a problem for long-distance runners. Batty has run a sub-four-minute mile a few times in the past, but running it at this high of an altitude is a challenge, he said.
“A couple months ago I think I ran 10 seconds faster at sea level so it’s a very different feeling for me. I definitely prefer running at sea level,” Batty said.
Batty, who is double majoring in neuroscience and exercise science at BYU, said that the regional and national championships are next on his list of things to do followed by the Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore., to be held this June and July.
When asked if he will ever try to run a sub-four-minute mile again in Utah, Batty said, “Probably not.”