Former PV track star runs sub-four-minute mile

Malone's calm demeanor has helped him win

Ben+Malone%2C+an+ex-runner+at+Pascack+Valley%2C+recently+achieved+a+sub-four-minute+mile.+Malone+went+on+to+run+track+at+Villanova+University.+
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Former PV track star runs sub-four-minute mile

Ben Malone, an ex-runner at Pascack Valley, recently achieved a sub-four-minute mile. Malone went on to run track at Villanova University.

Ben Malone, an ex-runner at Pascack Valley, recently achieved a sub-four-minute mile. Malone went on to run track at Villanova University.

Contributed by Ben Malone

Ben Malone, an ex-runner at Pascack Valley, recently achieved a sub-four-minute mile. Malone went on to run track at Villanova University.

Contributed by Ben Malone

Contributed by Ben Malone

Ben Malone, an ex-runner at Pascack Valley, recently achieved a sub-four-minute mile. Malone went on to run track at Villanova University.

Spencer Goldstein, Sports Writer

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The excitement and joy of winning has led to some of the most iconic celebrations throughout the history of sports.

Kobe Bryant jumped on the scorer’s table after beating the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals. LeBron James bursted into tears after overcoming a 3-1 series deficit to stun the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals. Every athlete has their own way of showcasing the elation of winning and achieving a goal.

And then there’s Ben Malone. The former Villanova trackstar who went to high school at Pascack Valley doesn’t quite express the emotion one might expect after winning a big race or matching a time he’d set as a goal.

“I never plan to do anything really,” Malone said. “Usually I’ll congratulate or shake hands with others who finished or talk to my coaches and teammates.”

His monotone response after a big achievement has held true for even the biggest accomplishments of his career, such as running a sub-four-minute mile.

“I knew I had been capable of [running a sub-four-minute mile] for awhile,” Malone said. “I had just come up short a bunch of times so to finally get it done was a huge relief. Just to finally join that club is pretty awesome.”

Along with the sub-four-minute mile, Malone has claimed multiple victories at the Penn Relays, which are held in Philadelphia and regarded as one of the biggest meets in the country. Malone also won a state title while at PV.

Rather than displaying a lot of emotion, Malone usually feels relief. The feeling stems from his competitive spirit and a strong desire to achieve his goals. He works hard to reach any given milestone, regardless of how long it takes.

“I’d known I’ve been capable of [running the sub-four-minute mile] for a very long time,” Malone said. “I’ve come up short a bunch of times so it wasn’t a matter of ‘was I ever able to get it done’, it was just everything coming together on the right day and finally it happened. So relief is probably what I felt the most [because] I didn’t have to worry about it anymore.”

Malone kept the same mindset heading into the mile as he does every other race.

“I approach every race the same way,” Malone said. “Just go out there and try to compete the best that I can and hope for the best result and luckily I was able to squeak under four minutes.”

As for a specific routine, Malone runs a mile the morning of every race, ideally over five hours prior. He follows that up by eating a meal up until three and a half hours before the race. Finally, he stretches and goes through his drills an hour before.

“Nothing too complicated,” Malone said. “There’s no crazy secrets out there.”

Having graduated from Villanova, Malone’s short term vision is set on the upcoming outdoor track season. Long term, his sights are set on the 2020 Summer Olympics.

“In terms of the bigger picture, [my goal] is to get through this first year of running and then prepare as best as I can for the Olympic Trials next summer,” Malone said. “June is where I want to be my best.”

Malone is also preparing for law school, but acknowledges that his main focus needs to be on track due to a shorter time range of opportunity.

“I’d like to think that I want to do both to the best of my ability,” Malone said. “But I understand that this is a very short window I have here where I’m going to be able to be an athlete. It can’t last forever, so I try to make sure I do everything that I can to be the best athlete I can be.”

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