Jason Kerber of Oceanside races down the final stretch as...

Jason Kerber of Oceanside races down the final stretch as he completes his run on Tuesday in Bethpage. Credit: Dawn McCormick

Jason Kerber planned this over the summer.

The Oceanside senior wanted to break the Nassau record in the 5k this fall, and he knew which course would give him the best chance to do it.

Kerber dominated at Eisenhower Park in a league meet on Sept. 26. His winning time of 15:14.2 set a Nassau record in the 5k, according to MileSplit. He beat the previous record of 15:15.2, set by Clarke standout and long-distance Olympian Dan Middleman in 1986.

“Warming up, I honestly didn’t feel great,” Kerber said. “But at the start of the race I felt great coming around the first loop, and then the second loop I felt like I had it, so I kept attacking.

“It’s a big step from last year. I’ve definitely been working a lot harder than I ever have before and it’s showing.”

Kerber ran 15:40.9 at Eisenhower Park on Sept. 12 and shaved 26 seconds from that time in two weeks.

The four-year varsity distance runner is down over a minute from 16:32.2, the best time he clocked last year as a junior.

“It’s mind-boggling to me how he pulls it off,” coach Al Lyson said. “You’d be happy if you took 20 seconds off from the first race to the very last race, and he was able to do it in two weeks. It’s just a testament to how hard he works and how badly he wants it.”

Lyson said he wanted Kerber to finish the first loop in around 7:30 to have a shot at the record. When Kerber came in near that time, he knew his star had a chance at history.

“He finishes really strong, so I had a feeling he had a good shot at this one,” Lyson said.

“No matter what I throw at him, no matter what I want him to do, he’s always asking me to add extra to it,” Lyson said of Kerber, who runs 55-60 miles a week in training. “You never question his work ethic.”

The league meet on Sept. 26 was Kerber’s last at Eisenhower Park. The course is flatter than most he’ll race at this year, which made him believe this was his best shot at earning a low time.

And now, Kerber wants more. His biggest meets, like the Suffolk Officials Invitational at Sunken Meadow, the Manhattan Invitational at Van Cortlandt Park and the NYSPHSAA championships, are ahead of him.

“I definitely think there’s a lot more to be done,” Kerber said. “There are faster times to come, hopefully.”

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