TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana State has a new record in the 10,000 meters, but that doesn’t mean it will stand for too long.
Not the way freshman John Mascari is racing so early in his collegiate career.
The Terre Haute North grad shattered Craig Padgett’s previous mark of 29:38.70 with a 29:19 at the Drake Relays on Thursday.
Mascari now ranks 19th among all NCAA competitors.
“Today was a do or die day, so I could get into the NCAA Regional,” Mascari said. “I just wanted to hold on. It worked out and I had a 30-second personal best. I cannot complain. I wanted to hang on as long as I could. I kept saying, ‘Please don’t hit a wall.’”
Mascari became the first Sycamore to win the 10,000 at the Drake Relays since Jason Gunn ran 30:13.75 in 2001.
He held off a handful of professionals in the field.
“That was unbelievable,” ISU men’s track coach John McNichols said. “There was some professionals in the field. He heard them talking about wanting to run 29 flat. Our goal for him was to run 29:30, 29:35 if things were feeling really good.”
McNichols said the pace went out fast and Mascari handled it perfectly.
“A group of pro runners out of Detroit, they went out hammering at about 68 pace. That’s a long, hard, suffering situation. Trying to run four miles and contain. John went up and ran behind them and maintained contact with that front pack,” McNichols said.
Mascari took the lead by the 5,000-meter mark and pulled away by the final mile. Robert Scribner (Hansons-Brooks) was a distance second at 29:38.42.
“This is the biggest race I have been in,” Mascari said afterward. “Before the biggest race I was in was my high school state meet. Coming in as freshman, I did not know what to expect. Thankfully, it worked out.”
Mascari has now won both 10,000 races he’s run this spring. The third will be the Missouri Valley Conference Championships — a meet the Sycamores are likely to be favored to win — in two weeks.