Suffern middle-distance ace Jeff Van Wie remains one of Rockland County’s most accomplished performers on the national stage. A lean-at-the-tape champion at the 1983 Golden West Invitational in Sacramento, California, Jeff blazed to a 1:48.56 in the 800 meter run to set a New York state record that still stands today. That mark was No. 2 all-time for Eastern high schoolers and No. 9 in the nation at that time. Still at his peak, Jeff defeated a top field of runners in Elmhurst, Illinois, one week later to win the Keebler International 800, and then the following weekend missed first place by a mere .01 at the U.S. Junior Nationals.
In today’s Rockland county record book, Van Wie remains on top in the 800 meters (1:48.56), 1,000 yards (2:13.9), and 1,000 meters (2:27.75). He’s also the anchor on two 3,200 meter relays, 7:59.1 indoors and 7:47.9 outdoors, that still hold up as county records. Jeff’s state meet highlights include a 3,200 meter relay gold medal during his senior year, following a runner-up effort in the 600 meters earlier in the day, and a second place medal in the 1600 meters during the 1982 outdoor state meet. His trophy case also includes Loucks Games gold from his two victories in the 800 meter run and the 1,600 meter run.
Jeff’s high school career encompassed more than medals and stellar times. At the 1983 Rockland county outdoor meet, he left it all on the track with an iron-man triple victory that may never be seen again: a 1,500 in 4:00.5, an 800 in 1:54.2, and a 400 in 49.7 in a span of about 40 minutes. And, in high school, he broke the 1:52 barrier in the 800 a dozen times, another legendary accomplishment. Aside from the Golden West victory, which he cherishes as his most meaningful accomplishment, Jeff says a few races early in his career “helped me establish some confidence and dig deeper.” He cited his 1,000 yard triumph in the 1981 indoor Rockland County meet over Pearl River’s Andy Kohlbrenner, the state indoor 1,600 champ, and Suffern’s 3,200 meter relay victory at the state meet his senior year.
During his years at Notre Dame, Jeff earned All-American honors with the 3,200 meter relay team that placed third at the 1986 Division I indoor championships; he ran a split of 1:49.7 on that relay team. He ran a 3:48 1,500 meters at the Willie Williams classic in Arizona and the following week ran a 1:49.29 800 meters at the Dogwood Relays in Knoxville, Tennessee. He also clocked a 1:49.39 to defeat Mike Boit, an Olympic bronze medalist, at the Drake Relays. His name is still on the record books as a member of the Fighting Irish indoor and outdoor 3,200 meter relay teams.
Jeff, now 41, resides in Atlanta,Georgia with his wife Torri, and two daughters, Anna, 3 1/2 and Audrey, two. He is a longtime employee of the consulting firm now known as Accenture, and was promoted to partner in 2000 after 13 years with the firm. Van Wie sells and manages large-scale computer-system installations around the country.