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Kal Lewis runs fast 1,500: Freshman seeded in fastest tow Big 10 heats

University of Iowa freshman Kal Lewis opened his outdoor track season March 27 with a fast 1,500-meter run at the Big 10 Invitational at the University of Indiana’s Bloomington Campus.

Lewis finished 4th in a field of 24.

The 1,500 meter run is 110 meters less than a mile, but is considered track and field’s “Metric Mile.” Saturday was Lewis’s first time running this distance, but based on his exceptional indoor season in the mile, he was seeded to the fastest of two heats with nine other top Big 10 milers.

The pack of 10 starters stayed tightly bunched with all runners taking the bell for the final lap between 2:49 and 2:51. Lewis went through in 7th place at 2:49.44. With 300 meters to go, Lewis called on his patented closing kick to power his way into 4th place, covering his last 400 meters in :60 to finish just 4/10ths out of 2nd place and closing on the leaders at the wire.

So close was the pack at the finish that nine of the top 10 were separated by just two seconds. All the top 10 finishers came out of the seeded heat.

Iowa senior and teammate, Tysen VanDraska, won in 3:47.81, followed by Ian Hunter of Purdue (3:49.04), John Petruna of Michigan State (3:49.26) and Lewis (3:49.44).

The internationally-accepted time conversion from the 1,500 to a full mile is 17 seconds. By that standard, Lewis’s performance was roughly equivalent to a 4:06 mile. His next race will be this weekend in Jacksonville, Fla.