From Dust to Riches, Shane Cohen is an NCAA Champ

* Cohen spoke with media following his thrilling 800m victory at the NCAA Championship

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In High School, Shane Cohen's personal best was 1:58.37.

He never qualified for a State Championship in the 800m. In fact, he never placed higher than 16th in an 800m PIAA district qualifier while competing for Lower Moreland HS (PA).

But tonight, at the NCAA Division I Track and Field Championship, Shane Cohen became a National Champion for the University of Virginia.

With 100m to go, Cohen was in ninth... He swung out to lane three and was nearly tripped by a falling Camden Marshall (Indiana). Instead of slowing, Cohen accelerated and ran down the field.

He won with a 1:44.97, a huge personal best.

Sam Whitmarsh (Texas A&M) was second with a 1:45.10, and Finley Mclear (Iowa State) was third with a 1:45.66.

Cohen's 1:44.97 currently ranks 45th in the World and seventh in the US.

Where did he come from?

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Shane Cohen graduated from Lower Moreland HS (PA) in 2019. In his senior season he finished third in the PIAA 3A 400m Championship with a 49.64.

He then walked-on at the University of Tampa, a Division II program. Over time he began to experience success. 

In 2021 he qualified for the NCAA DII Championship and finished ninth with a 1:51.21.

In 2022 he finished sixth at the NCAA DII Track and Field Championship after running a 1:48.25 in the preliminary round. 

He transferred to UVA as a Graduate Transfer in 2023 and made his debut for the Cavaliers last fall. The rest is history.