“Ever since I started running, it’s been a goal.”

Joining an elite class of sub-four minute milers was something Sterling’s Jake Gebhardt knew was achievable.

Back in grade school, I can still remember finishing the mile in under five minutes. From them, it was like let’s break four minutes,” Gebhardt said. “Probably around my junior year it become a real goal when I ran 4:10 so to be chasing it for that long, it just felt like such an accomplishment. Finally getting past that barrier and now it’s about seeing how much further down I can go.”

It took five years but Gebhardt got it done for Indiana at the Commodore Challenge. His time of 3:59.18 is ninth best in the Hoosiers program history.

My previous roommate is on there at number eight so it’s cool to have both our names in the history books,” Gebhardt said. “Being a part of that crew and there’s not a lot of them only 10 guys to get that sub 4-minute mile I just feel so special to be a part of that group itself.”

Distance running was always one the first loves dating back to a 5k in 4th grade.

Previous year my mom wouldn’t let me run it because I was too young. Next year, came out and ran it. Had success with it,” Gebhardt said. “Following that year, I joined the cross country team and never looked back. It was just something that clicked and something I enjoyed doing with the guys around me.”

Evolving in the sport and being ready for that next level all goes back to the time spent in his hometown.

Trying to be a leader of a smaller team. Smaller than where a lot of my teammates now come from. Just having that different background really helped me bring a different mindset to I-U,” Gebhardt said. “Help me work harder and be my own person at I-U. I think that all comes from Sterling.”

With the indoor season coming to an end and the outdoor season on the horizon, there is still much left to do.

After the meet, I really just took a step back and realized what I accomplished,” Gebhardt said. How much it meant to me but know it’s about rewriting my goals for the rest of the season and seeing what those can be. Trying to get an indoor qualifying spot at the national meet and seeing what noise we can make in the outdoor season then bring home some all-American honors.”

In the same meet, just an hour and a half later, Gebhardt also ran the Big Ten’s best time in the 800 meters.