Jan. 28, 2014
NEW YORK - UC Davis alum Kim Conley has made her mark internationally in the 5,000-meter run, earning berths to both the London Olympics in 2012 and the IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships last summer.
Last weekend at The New Balance Track and Field Center at The Armory, Conley proved she can be a force at shorter distances as well, setting a facility record in the invitational mile with a dominating time of 4 minutes, 24.54 seconds.
The event isn't contested as much as it used to be but Conley's time is still one of the all-time best, ranking 24th in the world all-time and is the fastest time among the top 40 all-time times in the world since 2010.
"My goal was 4:24," Conley, a volunteer assistant coach with the Aggies, told Race Results Weekly after the race. "I didn't know that this was the race I was going to do it."
Conley was a force from the start, settling into second place behind the pace-setter before taking the lead at the halfway point when the runner stepped aside and gave Conley the lead. From there, Conley set the pace and no one was able to run with her as she roared to splits of 2:10.3 for the first half-mile, 3:16.3 for three-quarters and 1:07.2 for the final 440 yards.
"What an exhibition she's putting on," roared the track's public address announcer as Conley pulled away. "This is committed front-running."
Conley, who also participated at the 2013 IAAF Cross Country Championships in Poland, said in post-race interviews that she requested the pace-setter to go quicker than she had planned and felt committed to that pace during the middle portion of the race.
"I had to stay on it at the point (and just) try to run fast," she said.
Conley finished well in front of Nicole Sifuentes who was timed in 4:29.40. Sarah Brown, also of New Balance, was third in 4:29.62. Conley's 1,500 split of 4:05.70 was also a facility record.
Conley, a member of the Sacramento Running Association Elite team, is coached by Aggie track and field head coach Drew Wartenburg.