Craig Engels

Birthday: 05/01/94 Mile PR: 3:51.60 - 2019
Metric Mile (1500m) PR: 3:33.64 - 2021
High School: Ronald Reagan HS '12
Hometown: Pfafftown, NC
College: University of Mississippi ’17 / transfer from North Carolina State
Current Residence: San Luis Obispo, CA

Craig Engels, in a rare 5000m race at the 2021 Texas Qualifier in Austin, won his heat, clocking a personal record of 13:36.91.In April, he finished runner-up at the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships hosted by the Grand Blue Mile in 3:59.2. In May, Engels won the Portland Track Festival 1500m in 3:33.64, a PR, and in late June, he placed 4th in the Olympic Trials 1500m in 3:36.69.

At the 2020 BU John Thomas Terrier Classic indoor meet in Boston, the charismatic star won the Mile in 3:56.85.

In 2019, he earned the USA Indoor Mile title, breaking the beam in 3:59.69; his first national crown as a pro, and in late June, he finished 5th at the Pre Classic's Bowerman Mile, clocking a personal record 3:51.60. In July at the USA Outdoor Championships, Craig captured his first 1500m crown, beating defending and Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz, 3:44.93 to 3:44.97.

In August 2018, Engels defended his Aetna Falmouth Mile title, winning in 3:58.88.

In 2017, at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Sacramento, the North Carolina native finished fourth in the 1500 meters just missing a Team USA berth for the London World Championships, and in August, he won the Aetna Falmouth Elite Mile in 4:00.19 and the inaugural Ed Murphey Mile, clocking 3:58.35, the first sub-4 ever in Memphis, Tennessee.

At the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in Eugene, Craig finished an impressive 4th in the 800 meters (a PR 1:46.03) and fifth in the 1500 meters (a then PR 3:37.66); again just missing Team USA spots.

The 6-time North Carolina high school state champion was a member of the North Carolina State track and cross country teams from 2012-14 before transferring to the University of Mississippi where he earned NCAA All-American honors 6 times.

Engels also won the 1500m gold medal (3:53.12) at the 2013 Pan American Junior Championships in Colombia.

FUN FACT: The free spirit is also known for his trademark mullet & mustache, owns a classic RV that he and his friends travel around the country and loves doing construction projects.


After short break, Craig Engels reinvigorated for 2024 Olympic push

January 17, 2022

“I still love (running). It’s a really cool job, Obviously one day I’ll be done running. But not yet.”

From Winston-Salem Journal

For Craig Engels, 2021 was a year filled with miles and milestones.

The Pfafftown runner recently signed a new long-term contract with Nike, competed in the U.S....

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Philibert-Thiboutot smashes Falmouth Elite Mile record

August 14, 2021

Markovc edges Schlachtenhaufen in women’s race; $28,500 awarded; Clare, Myles Liss-Riordan Tommy Cochary High School Mile champions

From Falmouth Road Race

FALMOUTH, Mass. – In the 25th running of the Falmouth Elite Mile on Saturday afternoon, six men went sub-4 minutes at the newly...

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Craig Engels on his pro career: “I don’t know if I’m retiring or not”

August 11, 2021

"I was pretty bummed out there (at the Trials), so I came up with this little tour around America, doing Miles..."

By Eddie Wooten, Winston-Salem Journal

RALEIGH — Fast and accomplished as they are, eager as they were to toe the starting line and chase the ever-magical 4 minute Mile, the...

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Olympians, two-time men’s champion, 2018 women’s runner-up headline 25th Falmouth Elite Mile

July 29, 2021

Guaranteed prize purse of $25,000 plus time and record bonus money available

From Falmouth Road Race

FALMOUTH, Mass. - Falmouth Road Race, Inc., organizers of the Falmouth Elite Mile, an invitational Mile open to male sub-4:00 and female sub-4:40-minute Mile runners, have announced the fields...

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Seven Things You Should Know About Craig Engels

June 26, 2021

“I actually don’t know how many miles a week I’m running. I don’t care, just whatever my body is feeling.”

By Sarah Lorge Butler, Runner's World

Craig Engels burst onto the U.S. running scene in 2017, during his final year at the University of Mississippi. He was the athlete with the mullet...

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Engels, Kampf, Murphy Headline Fields at USATF 1 Mile Road Championships

April 20, 2021

The USA Championship prize purse totals $15,000 and goes 10 deep with $3000 to each national champion


DES MOINES, Iowa – USATF champions, World Championship qualifiers and an Olympic medalist headline Wednesday’s fields at the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships presented by Toyota...

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Focus on the U.S. Men’s 1500 Scene

April 02, 2021

Whoever shows up on the starting line at Hayward Field, rest assured the guys will put on a great show at the U.S. Olympic Trials

By Jeff Hollobaugh, Track & Field News

It's not outlandish to project that one of the most-anticipated events at June’s U.S. Olympic Trials will be the men’s 1500....

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Craig Engels: Full speed to the U.S. Olympic Trials 1500

February 23, 2021

"I do know I have to be ready for a 3:29 1500 if I want to be in medal contention at the Olympics. So we’ve been just mentally getting ready, doing a lot of workouts that are going to help with that.”

By Sieg Lindstrom, Track & Field News

You think you're pining for the U.S. Olympic Trials?...

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When not winning races, Craig Engels can light up a room

April 05, 2020

"You don’t have to 24 / 7 serious to be a U.S. champion. You have don’t have to make a choice."

By Ken Goe, The Oregonian / OregonLive

Coach Pete Julian remembers when Craig Engels first breezed into Julian’s group of elite distance runners within the Nike Oregon Project in 2017, smile spread...

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Craig Engels wins the fans at Camel City Elite meet

February 09, 2020

Third place finish by North Carolina native & U.S. champion doesn't damper meet-and-greet excitement

By Eddie Wooten, Winston-Salem Journal

He had just crossed the finish line, placing third in the Camel City Elite 800 meter race at JDL Fast Track. Craig Engels' time of 1 minute and 49.03...

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Craig Engels looks ahead post-NOP

October 27, 2019

"If I’m going to do this sport, I want to enjoy my life and enjoy the people in the sport and everything about it.”

By Sarah Lorge Butler, Runner's World

An elite runner with a reputation as a fun-loving guy has had some serious matters to attend to during his offseason.

Since he finished...

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American Dreamer: Craig Engels

September 07, 2019

"I’d like to be remembered as someone who changed the sport for the better… but I would rather be remembered as a person who made the world a better place."

By David Jaewon, Tempo Journal

If you didn’t know who Craig Engels was, it would be hard to picture him as a professional runner, let...

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Meet Craig Engels, Race Video Fiend

August 11, 2019

“It’s something I do before I go to bed every night, watch a few videos so I can dream about it or something."

By Sieg Lindstrom, Track & Field News

USATF 1500 champion Craig Engels has trained primed with motivation aplenty since the 2016 Olympic Trials. A 4th (800) and a 5th (1500) in the...

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Engels Out-Duels Friend & Mentor Centrowitz in USA 1500

July 28, 2019

“Craig’s a fun guy… obviously with his appearance, it’s not your typical middle distance, distance running personality. I think it’s great. He brings a different spin to the event and to the sport.”

By Lincoln Shryack, FloTrack

When Craig Engels was weighing his professional options coming...

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Cheruiyot, Manangoi Headline Bowerman Mile at Pre Classic

May 29, 2019

Loaded field at 20th edition features six men with sub-3:50 Mile PRs including American Johnny Gregorek

From Prefontaine Classic

STANFORD, Calif. - On Sunday, June 30 at Cobb Track & Angell Field, the world’s best Milers will bring their rivalry to the Prefontaine Classic for the meet’s...

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Meet the Miler: Craig Engels

August 24, 2018

NIKE Oregon Project athlete returns to the birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll on Saturday evening to defend his Ed Murphey Memphis Mile title

By David Monico, Bring Back the Mile

Craig Engels has been described as a wanderer. He has displayed one of the best mullets (and mustaches) that you'll come...

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Engels, Schneider Win Aetna Falmouth Elite Mile

August 18, 2018

Connolly, Mariano victorious in Tommy Cochary High School Mile; $16,000 awarded in Open race

From Falmouth Road Race

FALMOUTH, Mass. – Three close finishes and a dominant victory by a local favorite highlighted the Aetna Falmouth Elite Mile and its companion Tommy Cochary High School Mile,...

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Engels, Schneider Headline Aetna Falmouth Elite Mile

August 15, 2018

Deep international fields also includes Olympians, past men's event champions and rising stars; $15,000 guaranteed prize purse

From Falmouth Road Race

FALMOUTH, Mass. - Defending men's champion Craig Engels and Rachel Schneider, fresh off a gold medal performance, headline the fields for the...

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Engels, track stars revere Camel City Elite as premier indoor meet

February 03, 2018

“There are marathons where you can win a ton of money, but this is the most I’ve ever seen for a Mile race.”

By Patrick Ferlise, Winston-Salem Journal

When former Reagan track star Craig Engels learned he would race today in the Camel City Elite for the first time in his career, the pro...

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The Best Mile Moments of 2017

December 21, 2017

Record prize money awarded exceeds $500,000, Blankenship & Lipari win BBTM Grand Prix Tour titles, one more U.S. HSer sub-4, the brothers Ingebrigtsen make history, greatest women’s Mile ever and more highlight year

By Ryan Lamppa, Bring Back the Mile

Since the Bring Back the Mile launch in...

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Memphis area high school distance runners inspired, amazed by pros at inaugural Murphey Mile

September 05, 2017

"And the crowd... it was like a Friday night football game. We're not really used to that.”

By John Varlas, USA TODAY Network

Nick Dwyer was the busiest man at the Christian Brothers High School track last Saturday. But when he got a chance to gather his wits and take a look around, he was...

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Newcomers Engels, Fields Kick to Win Aetna Falmouth Mile

August 20, 2017

Griffin, Connolly capture boys & girls Tommy Cochary High School Mile titles

By Jon Mettus, Cape Cod Times

FALMOUTH -- On Saturday evening, it was the newcomers who came out on top at the Aetna Falmouth Elite Mile at Falmouth High School with Craig Engels picking up his first professional win...

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Track’s Fastest Mullet Is Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

August 12, 2017

Craig Engels' famous hair-and-’stache combo in the running world has been chopped to benefit charity.

By Sarah Lorge Butler, Runner's World

Craig Engels has long turned heads for his fast running—and his flowing locks.

At the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track Trials, he was fourth in the 800 meters...

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Q&A with Craig Engels on Nike Oregon Project, breaking out and chasing sub-4

July 14, 2017

When I pulled up on Matt Centrowitz, the defending gold medalist at the Olympics, I was like ‘OK, I got this.’

By Pat Price for Citius Mag

Craig Engels, the Ole Miss Miler with a mean mullet, recently signed a professional contract to join the Nike Oregon Project training group. He finished...

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Engels leaves mark on Ole Miss track & field

June 22, 2017

Rising U.S. Mile star sports an attention-getting mustache and mullet combination: “I feel like if I can bring something different to the sport then common folk will get into it.”

By Que'Taurus Certion, The DM Online

Craig Engels finished his career as an Ole Miss Rebel track runner as a...

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Race among the best includes Engels

June 07, 2012

By Mason Linker, Winston-Salem Journal

PFAFFTOWN, N.C. - Craig Engels of Reagan, who has become one the nation's top prep middle-distance runners over the past 18 months, will end his high school career Saturday in New York City.

He will be among 14 high-school-age runners invited to compete...

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