Happy Father’s Day!
Oregon’s Mac Fleet defended his national collegiate 1,500-meter run championship with a time of 3:39.09 yesterday, helping the Ducks win their first men’s championship since 1984.
Nosing out Arizona’s Lawi Lalang, who was seeking a ninth NCAA individual championship, Fleet made a powerful stretch run in front of his parents, Dale and Jana Fleet, and a crowd of more than 10,000 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
Fleet is a name that has resonated many years in San Diego track and field circles.
Dale Fleet was the 1971 state champion for Clairemont High with a time of 8:53.8 in the two-mile run at Drake Stadium on the UCLA campus in Westwood.*
Dale’s time, converted to meters, is 8:50.84, fourth all-time in San Diego County.
Mac ran 4:05.33 to win the state 1,600 meters as a senior at University City in the 95-degree heat at Buchanan High in Clovis in 2009.
The younger Fleet’s 1,600 meters is No. 2 all-time among area runners and his 1:50.31 for 800 meters is fourth.
Mac also is sixth in the all-time California prep rankings with a 4:02.9 mile that converted to 4:01.29 for 1,600 meters. His 3:39.09 1,500 meters in the NCAA event converts to a 3:56.55 mile.
Fleet also won the 1,500 in 3:50.25 in 2013 at Eugene and ran a personal best 3:38.35 last season.
*That meet still ranks among the best ever in California. Competition, before a crowd of more than 12,000, was so intense and marks so outstanding that Lincoln’s Donald Tyler, for example, ran a :47.3 440 and finished eighth in a field of nine.
Tyler’s :47.3, converted to :47.14, has been bettered by only three San Diego runners, led by the :46.85 of Morse’s Lydell Burston in 1996.
Dale Fleet, a San Diego school teacher, still is involved in the sport, helping out with the cross-country program at University City.