Mile News

The 4 Minute High School Mile, 50 Years Later

May 15, 2015

A half-century after a Kansas high schooler ran the Mile in under 4:00, a select five U.S. boys have joined the sub-4 club with Jim Ryun

By Kevin Helliker, Wall Street Journal

On Monday I called Jim Ryun, thinking it would be cool to tell the greatest Miler in American history something he might not know about the Mile: Last weekend, a high school student named Matthew Maton ran it in 3:59.38.

But Ryun was way ahead of me, having heard that news within minutes of it happening. “That makes six of us,” Ryun said, referring to the number of American high school students who have run the Mile under 4 minutes.

It was 50 years ago Friday that Ryun broke the tape in 3:58.3 at a Kansas high school track meet in Wichita, his hometown. Yet it does Ryun little justice to note that only five other high school runners have reached that goal in a half-century. Of those five, four did so at non-high-school events, meaning they benefited from older and often-faster competition. In breaking 4 minutes last Friday night, for instance, Maton finished third behind two University of Oregon runners. The fifth student to break four, Lukas Verzbicas, ran 3:59.71 at the 2011 adidas Dream Mile, an annual competition between the nation’s fastest high school Milers.

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Tags: jim ryun (93) , bbtm news (207)

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Return the Mile to prominence on the American & worldwide sports and cultural landscape by elevating and celebrating the Mile to create a movement.

Bring Back the Mile as the premier event in the sport, and increase interest in and media coverage of the Mile for both those who love the distance as well as the general public.

Bring Back the Mile to celebrate the storied distance and to recognize the people who made and make the Mile great and to promote Mile events and the next generation of U.S. Milers.

Bring Back the Mile to create a national movement for the Mile as America’s Distance,
to inspire Americans to run the Mile as part of their fitness program and to replace the 1600 meters at High School State Track & Field Meets across the country.

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