Massachusetts High Schooler Garrett O’Toole Runs U.S. #1 4:01.89 Mile At 2014 Adrian Martinez Classic

Princeton-bound O’Toole Will Take a Run at Sub-4:00 on June 14 at the adidas High School Boys’ Dream Mile at the adidas Grand Prix in New York

By Jonathan Gault,
June 5, 2014

CONCORD, Mass. — Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano was the headliner, but high schooler Garrett O’Toole stole the headlines (along with Eric Finan), running a U.S. #1 4:01.89 mile at the 2014 Adrian Martinez Classic on Thursday evening. O’Toole’s time was an 11-second PB (though he did run 3:45.55 for 1500 in May) and shaved over four seconds off the previous top time in America for 2014. 4:01.89 is also a New England high school record and makes him the #14 high schooler of all-time, according to Dyestat.

O’Toole, who attended the Middlesex School in Concord, went out near the back and patiently moved his way up the field and used a strong final 200 meters to take sixth.  O’Toole said he was around 61 seconds for the first two laps, 60 for the third and 58 for the final one (obviously there are some fractions in there).

“The idea was for me to start out in dead last or close to it to see how the pace was going, since this was a small field,” O’Toole said. “The rabbit was supposed to go out in 2:26 for the K, so I was trying to stay back…Stay patient, move up, get into the right position and use my kick the last 200.”

O’Toole said he looks up to Leo Manzano and that it was a thrill for him to race him on the same track that O’Toole trains on. The two chatted after the race and O’Toole said that Manzano told him to “stay humble and be thankful for what he’s given in the sport.”

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O’Toole, who will enroll at Princeton in the fall and run for Jason Vigilante (“Vig”), also talked to Manzano about Vig as Vig coached Manzano while he was at Texas

Not a shock, but still a breakthrough

O’Toole ran 1:50.16 for 800 at the New Balance Twilight Meet on Saturday in nearby Waltham and ran 3:45 for 1500 in Princeton on May 3. He’s clearly a big talent, but there’s something about seeing 4:01 next to a high schooler’s name that pushed the excitement for fans of the sport to the next level. O’Toole ran the famed Arcadia 3200 in April but was “only” seventh in 8:53.08. He said that he moved too early in that race and was disappointed with the outcome but that he’s fitter now.

Let the sub-4:00 talk start

When a high schooler runs 4:01, the natural next step is 4:00 or 3:59, and there will be many American fans eager to see what O’Toole runs in his next attempt at the distance at the adidas High School Boys’ Dream Mile in New York on June 14. O’Toole said that he’s taking a long-term approach to his development and that sub-4:00 is a possibility but he won’t let it consume him. “I’m not going to put a lot of pressure on myself to break 4:00,” he said.

O’Toole will have the competition to take a run at the barrier in New York, with California’s Blake Haney (won Arcadia 3200 by 4 seconds, 3:44 1500 PB) leading the way. O’Toole added that he might run the 800 at New Balance Outdoor Nationals in North Carolina the next day but that is yet to be determined.

O’Toole is also planning on running the U.S. Junior championships on July 5-6 in hopes of making the Team USA for the World Junior Championships, which will be held at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.

O’Toole is a fan of

As soon as I told him I was from, O’Toole’s face lit up. He said that he loves the site and visits it daily. And yes, O’Toole does even post occasionally on LetsRun’s world famous messageboard – so be careful what you write ahead of the Dream Mile.

(Are you a HSer and new to LetsRun? Check out the main all-inclusive messageboard here. No registration required so don’t worry, your parents won’t be able to track you. You can post under any name and don’t need to use an email address (leave that blank). Ous HS messageboard is here. The messageboar thread on O’Tootle’s 4:01.89 is here: HSer Garrett O’toole runs 4:01.89)

Our full interview with O’Toole:

More: Full meet recap: Leo Manzano Upset in Mile; Wins for Cas Loxsom, Dana Mecke, Violah Lagat and Amy Hastings at 2014 Adrian Martinez Classic
*LRC Photos Gallery From Meet
*MB: HSer Garrett O’toole runs 4:01.89

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