DES MOINES, Iowa –
Competing in the final of the 3000-meter steeplechase at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, senior distance runner Travis Mahoney
(Old Bridge, N.J./Old Bridge) was named Temple University
's first-ever First Team All-American with his fifth place finish time of 8:43.29 on Saturday at Drake Stadium. With his placement, Mahoney earned four points, making it the first time in program history that an individual from Temple scored points at an NCAA Championship event.
“This really means a lot,” Mahoney said. “It was different coming in to this year's running of this race and I was more driven and much more confident. For a moment I was within striking distance of second place, but all considered, to be here two years in a row—and just to make it back here was satisfying. I am extremely happy and satisfied. It was a big jump to go from 11th place last year to fifth this time and to be named an All-American again is truly humbling. From here I look for better things to come. This is a big step for me, as I intend to continue my running career after graduation.”
For the second straight season, Mahoney was named an All-American, as he was named to the second team after placing 11th with a finish time of 8:52.54 a year ago.
Mahoney, Temple's only national qualifier this season and record-holder for the fastest time in the 3000-meter steeplechase (8:36.10), set a season-best time of 8:40.00 at the NCAA East Preliminary on May 25 before running a consistent time of 8:40.23 this past Thursday night in the semifinals of the event.
“I can't say enough about Travis and all he has accomplished during his time at Temple, but this is unbelievable and just doesn't happen often,” head coach Eric Mobley said. “We have been taking steps as a program over these last few years and now we are now seeing signs of everyone's work paying off and it's bringing our program to a new level. What Travis did today is unbelievable. Our coaching staff has been tremendous and is helping to bring us toward a national power. I am very happy for Travis and for all the hard work coach Matt Jelley
put in to help him reach this accomplishment.”
Earlier this season, the native of Old Bridge, N.J. won the Atlantic 10 Conference title in the steeplechase and was named the league's Outstanding Performer of the Year for both the indoor and the outdoor season.
At The Penn Relays, Mahoney rose to the occasion on a national stage and turned in a second place time of 8:48.18.
“He ran a great race today and to be the first All-American and to be able to stand up there on the podium and receive that award is great for him and great for Temple,” assistant coach Matt Jelley
said.“It was different this year since he had last year's experience to us to boost his confidence for this time. I'll admit that last year we probably didn't expect him to make it here, but this year we knew he definitely could make it back here, so we knew how to better prepare him. Experience from last year paid off. He was tough out there and you could see it when runner s started pulling ahead, he maintained focus and hung in there and still earned a very good finish.”
Princeton's Donn Cabral won the national steeplechase title with a finish time of 8:35.44.
From here, Mahoney will make his way to Eugene, Ore. for the Olympic Trials, which will be held at the University of Oregon June 22-July 1.