Eldon Warner finished his college career in late May in Sacramento, Calif., at the NCAA West Regional, breaking the University of South Dakota school record in the 1,500.
His time of 3 minutes, 43.15 seconds was a mile equivalent of just more than four minutes.
Warner's goal was to break the four-minute mile Monday night and become the first ever to break the threshold outdoors in North Dakota.
Instead, he had to settle for the fastest mile ever ran at Cushman Field.
Warner won the See Dick Run Elite Mile in a time of 4:13.02 -- about a second better than the facility record set a year ago during the SDR Elite Mile by Fargo's Evan Kottsick.
"It wasn't as fast as I was hoping," Warner said. "I just wasn't quite feeling it. My body is getting a little worn out, but it was a fun race.
"The race didn't go as planned but that's not what racing is about -- you have to have those ups and downs," said Warner, who plans to be an assistant track and field coach at South Dakota next year. "It was still a fun experience coming out here and running. I thought I could get four minutes if I can't in shape (after the West Regional). I did, but it's hard to keep motivated when you don't have that jersey to run for."
Warner, who finished about seven seconds in front of former Grand Forks Central and North Dakota State runner Camron Roehl, said he still plans to race in the future and can now focus on just the mile.
"I still have that goal of breaking four minutes," Warner said. "Just focusing on the mile will make a world of difference now. I was supposed to come to this event last year, but I was a full month past my training cycle. I was feeling better this year, so I said 'heck, yeah, I'll come race and have a good time.'"
The women's Elite Mile also produced a stadium record. In fact, North Dakota State runner Annika Rotvold, a Hillsboro, N.D., native, shattered the mark set by Alexis Zeis of Bismarck, who won the 2018 SDR Elite Mile in 4:59.91.
Rotvold ran a blazing 4:48.07 to easily eclipse the mark, which was also broken by runner-up finisher Meghan Ford. The Jamestown High School sophomore won the mile and two-mile at the state meet this spring.