First, there is no official record.
Second, many D1 schools count your performances in the summer before you graduate.
It is a unique situation, in that track has both a college season and an open season.
Centrowitz's time is superior, and he was representing the USA via Oregon at the date of his superior time. He enrolled in classes in the fall -- and only after that -- decided that in a Olympic year that his best strategy was to turn pro and start prepping for the Trials.
The NCAA makes a ton off of the backs of athletes (NCAA) there really is no need to punish a Centrowitz for making a career decision - pre-season, after the last season was completed (when he ran his "record" time.)
It's a goofy situation.
The fastest collegiate time ever run is Centrowitz's.
You can be sure that his time will be considered Oregon's school record -- as he was still a student and pre-pro.
The colleges help fund our Olympic development program with track and field scholarships... IF you are a fan of the sport...can you really say that you would rather see Centrowitz's time Not Honored / Acknowledged...just because of how screwed up both the NCAA and USATF are??
Not to mention the anomaly that is our sport?
Centrowitz ran in good faith at the NCAA's last year, and qualified for and won the USATF title last year, in good faith, and qualified to continue his season at the WC's and as part of that prep, that NCAA Athlete honored the NCAA and his school by winning a bronze medal at world's.
Oh, and btw, since the NCAA doesn't keep such records...only TFN does... TFN is then self anointed to make the rules?
TFN is not some hallowed institution...it is just a magazine run by some track geek geezers who do their best to do...as they see fit... That doesn't mean their decision should be considered the be all and end all.
With TFN's standard, and the standard of other posters here... An NCAA student could run a 3:34.59 in July...and that would not count as NCAA record, per TFN's decision.
Let's just make it simple.
We all know that last "track season," for the purposes of any NCAA track athlete, was BOTH the NCAA meets and any World meets they could be good enough to qualify for.
THAT is how it plays out in real life...if I run well enough during my college season, then I get to keep running at USA's and if I place in the top 3 there, I get to run in DL meets and at World's.
So now we are going to neglect a kid's accomplishment....simply because of the anomalies of our sports realities and schedules?
Let's not be so fast to give Kyle Merber "the record." His accomplishment is great, and thrilling, a great surprise and inspiring etc.
But, let's not forget that Centrowitz's time was funded mostly by his NCAA scholarship.
Let's not punish an athlete for excelling ahead of schedule and then being faced with an unexpected set of circumstances (staying in college or training for the Olympics.)