UC Mechanical Engineering Alumnus Runs Sub-4 Minute Mile

By: Liz Daubenmire

Eric Finan, once known for his 4 time record-breaking athletic career at the University of Cincinnati, defeated an Olympic Silver Medalist and beat a personal best on June 5th.

Finan’s life-long dream of running a mile under four minutes came true earlier this month at the 2014 Adrian Martinez Classic.  He came in first with the lifetime-best time of 3:58.73, reported by the Enquirer.

To make his victory twice as sweet, Finan also beat out Olympic Silver Medalist, Leo Manzano, who was the featured athlete at the race.  Manzano won his medal in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.  He was the first US runner to medal in the 1500m since Jim Ryun won silver 44 years prior. 

While Eric Finan isn’t an Olympic Medalist yet, he does run professionally on the USA Minnesota team.  The team was founded in 2001 and has since won 20 national championships from 1500 meters to marathon distances. 

Eric told the Enquirer, “I still feel like I am on cloud nine.”  The day after he explained, “…I‘m not sure if it has really sunken in quite yet.  Running under four minutes in the mile has been a dream of mine since high school.”

Eric Finan began his athletic career at the University of Cincinnati where he ran cross country and track & field, winning the All-American twice.

In 2011, Finan was awarded MVP for cross country, received the Gettler Spirit of Track and Field Award, and set four school records.  He was also the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Cross Country Champion and the All-Ohio Champion in the 1500m and 500m.

The list of Eric’s achievements goes on and but the true weight of his success comes from his life outside the sport.  

When Finan wasn’t training or competing, he devoted his time to studying mechanical engineering at the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) at UC. 

Finan was recognized as the Scholar Athlete of the Month, a title well deserved by the athlete and ACCEND student earning his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and his MBA simultaneously.

In addition to being a bright UC track star and balancing the work load of two degrees, Finan also thrived in his co-op placements which he explains, “were the deciding factor in my decision to come to UC.” 

While almost all engineers are required to participate in co-op education, not many can also balance the demanding life of an athlete. 

Eric Finan is a great example of how hard work and dedication allows us all to achieve our dreams. This alumnus continues to bring pride to the UC name years after graduation. 

Congratulations to Eric Finan on his personal best at the Adrian Martinez Classic.


To read the Enquirer story please visit: http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/college/university-of-cincinnati/2014/06/06/uc-runner/10103641/