Missouri senior distance runner impresses on and off track

Thursday, April 25, 2013 | 9:51 p.m. CDT; updated 6:10 p.m. CDT, Friday, April 26, 2013

COLUMBIA — Missouri senior Dan Quigley shattered his own 5K school record last weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., finishing in 13:43 seconds.

Quigley beat his previous record by 12 seconds. His performance moved him up to eighth in the NCAA national rankings and second in the SEC rankings.

“He executed it perfectly,” Missouri distance coach Joe Lynn said. “Your athletes did a great job when you don’t have to do any coaching during the race.”

To train for last weekend’s race, Quigley logged 105 miles in a seven-day span. On the most strenuous days of training he runs 18 miles.

“To put in that kind of mileage, I don’t find it that difficult,” Quigley said. “It’s understanding that’s what it takes to compete at a high level.”

But it’s what Quigley does when he’s not running that might be more impressive.

For his graduate degree program in mechanical engineering, Quigley is designing an oxygen-control system for premature infants. The device monitors and controls blood-oxygen levels in infants while they are treated in the neonatal intensive-care unit. Too much oxygen can detach an infant’s retina, causing blindness. Too little oxygen and the infant can suffer brain damage or die. Currently Quigley is in the process of submitting applications to the FDA to do clinical testing.

This weekend Quigley will run the 1500-meter race at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa. He and Lynn see the race as an opportunity for speed work.

Quigley won’t compete in another 5K until the SEC Championships May 9-12. His biggest competition will be Arkansas’ Kemoy Campbell, currently ranked first in the nation.

“I’d like to win,” Quigley said.

With only a handful of races remaining in his college career, Quigley wants to go out on top. But even a first-place finish at the SEC Championships might not be as impressive as the work Quigley’s done off the track.

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