By ELLIOTT DENMAN
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - Vincent Ciattei oudueled Eric Holt, 3:52.56 to 3:52.57, in a dazzling Monmouth Mile elite feature event, Thursday evening, Aug. 31, 2023, and just missed the meet record of 3:52.41 set by Paul Ryan in the 2022 edition of this Shore Area late summer feature.
For both Ciattei, the ex-Virginia Tech star, and Holt, the former Binghamton University standout, their 1-2 times in the event staged at Christian Brothers Academy's Dr. George Sheehan track also represented the fastest and next-fastest outdoor mile clockings in the nation this 2023 season, besting the 3:53.57 by John Gregorek at Falmouth, Mass. Aug. 16..
Further, the Ciattei and Holt performances were the second and third fastest outdoor miles ever run in New Jersey - after Ryan's 2022 Monmouth Mile time at Mater Dei Prep had eclipsed the prior in-state best of 3:53.64 by Mushin Jawher of Kenya and Bahrain at Princeton in 2002.
And just back of Ciattei and Holt were Kasey Knevelboard (3:53.52), Jack Anstey (3:53.87), Ben Allen (3:55.02), Rob Napolitano (3:59.16) and Lucian Fiore (3:59.38) as seven men bettered the once-magic four-minute mile mark.
Just over four were Alejandro Ambrosio (4:02.24), Matt Wisner (4:02.21), James Quttlebaum (4:04.09) and Ryan James (4:04.88)
Dazzling as all these top-notch and world outdoor list-quality performances were, however, they were nowhere near the fastest mile ever run in New Jersey - the 3:49.78 then-world record indoor clocking achieved by Ireland record-smasher and World champion Eamonn Coghlan at the 1983 Meadowlands Invitational Meet in East Rutherford,
The women's elite mile went to former Clemson star Laurie Barton in 4:28.07 over Judi Jones (4:45.0) and Mara Seykora (5:07.01.)
The men's and women's elite races capped a busy late afternoon and twilight Monmouth Mile program directed by Coach Joe Compagni that included youth, high school, Masters and community events, sponsored by Diadora, in cooperation with Runner's High, McLoone's Pier House, Medal Awards Plus, Shore AC and CBA.