COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Versailles alumnus Sam Prakel earned all-American honors as he finished third in the mile at the 2018 NCAA indoor track and field championships on Saturday at Texas A&M University.
Prakel, a senior at the University of Oregon, finished third in the mile with a time of 3:58.59. The Versailles graduate finished behind New Mexico sophomore Josh Kerr, who won the national championship with a time of 3:57.02, and Virginia Tech senior Vincent Ciattei, who finished second in 3:58.36.
Prakel is among a prestigious group of American runners who have run the mile in less than four minutes. He first achieved the milestone on Feb. 13, 2016, in Seattle when he ran the mile in 3:57.95, becoming just the 465th American to ever achieve the feat. Prakel’s personal-best time in the mile is 3:56.89, a mark he set at the 2017 Husky Classic in Seattle.
The Versailles graduate, who won six individual state championships while in high school, has continued to add to his decorated career throughout his college years and has earned all-American honors four times. Along with this past weekend’s performance, he finished fourth in the mile at the 2016 NCAA indoor championships, finished fifth in the 1,500 meters at the 2016 NCAA outdoor championships and finished 10th in the 1,500 meters at the 2014 NCAA outdoor championships.
Prakel, who is studying biochemistry, also has garnered other accolades including being named the 2017 Pac-12 Cross Country Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Oregon’s next competition is the Aztec Invitational, which will be held March 23 and 24 at San Diego State University.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.