April 29, 2016
Michael Slagowski of Rocky Mountain High School in Meridian, Idaho (Boise metro area) ran 3:59.53 at the Nike Jesuit Relays in Portland, Ore., tonight become the ninth high schooler in the United States to go sub-four in the mile, and the fourth in the last year.
Slagowski’s race went off in 53-degree weather on a wet track, as the earlier rain had softened to a drizzle according to the Runnerspace broadcast. Slagowski’s teammate Anthony Ghiorso rabbited him for the first 750 meters as the sub-4 attempt was on from the gun.
Ghiorso and Slagowski got out on pace, running the first 409m in 60.42 (roughly 59.0 for 400m), but Ghiorso slowed on the second lap and Slagowski went wide on the homestretch to pass Ghiorso before hitting 809 meters in 2:03.01 (62.6 2nd 400). Slagowski more than kept his composure on the third lap as he got back on pace, hitting 1209 in 3:00.23 after running his fastest 400m of the race (57.2).
If Slagowski could muster 59.7 or better the final lap, he would join the sub-4 club. On the final lap, the spectators on the infield were cheering him on in raucous anticipation and he dipped under the four-minute barrier with nearly half a second to spare, clocking 3:59.53.
He was soon hugged by pacer and teammate Ghiorso.
Video of race:
Results below with commentary.
1 Slagowski, Michael SR Rocky Mountain 3:59.53 10 2 Yearian, Jack SR Bellarmine Prep 4:06.33 8 3 Janke, Justin SR North Central 4:07.28 6 4 Ollar, Roman SR West Linn 4:11.00 5 5 Mestler, Jackson SR Sheldon 4:11.18 4 6 Ollar, Grayson SR West Linn 4:11.52 3 7 Beamer, Nathan SR Arlington 4:12.24 2 8 Buck, Owen SR Ballard 4:12.91 1 9 Vail, Walter SR Crater 4:12.98 10 Slenning, Alex SO Wilson 4:14.73 11 Nyamu, Murimi SR Forest Grove 4:15.28 12 Monroe, Andy SO Crater 4:16.56 13 Carroll, Cameron SR Central Kitsap 4:17.48 14 Muhumed, Ahmed JR West Salem 4:18.46 15 Martin, Michael SR South Eugene 4:18.87 16 Proctor, Tibs JR The Northwest School 4:23.65 17 Knight, Hank JR North Central 4:29.04 18 Wyman, Cameron JR Bellarmine Prep 4:30.20 Ghiorso, Anthony JR Rocky Mountain DNF Cardenas, Fabian SR Umatilla DNS
QT #1: Slagowski is the Real Deal
Slagowski, a Penn State signee, has tremendous speed and endurance. We had already praised him for running a solo 1:48.70 this year, which makes him as fast as Idaho’s most famous runner, two-time Olympian Nick Symmonds, was as a junior in college. Now he’s a member of the sub-4 club. Dyestat had a nice pre-race profile on Slagowski and Slagowski’s coach Bob Hayes saw this one coming saying, “I don’t make predictions, I won’t do that, but I just think there’s a fast mile coming.”
— Patrick Werhane (@pwerhane) April 30, 2016
QT #2: Sub-4 is Suddenly Becoming Much More Common in the High School Ranks
Jim Ryun was the first high schooler to go sub-four, doing it 52 years ago in 1964. Tim Danielson went sub-4 in 1966, and Marty Liquori the year after than and then there was a 34-year drought until Alan Webb in 2001. Another decade passed until Lukas Verzbicas (not a U.S. citizen at the time ) got the ball rolling again in 2011, and then we only had to wait four years until two guys went sub-4 last year (Matthew Maton and Grant Fisher). Now two more have done it this year (Drew Hunter and Slagowski). We’d be surprised from here on out if wasn’t broken almost every year. If Ryun could do it 52 years ago when very little was understood about training, the more recent performances should become the norm.
The high school sub-4 list via Idaho Statesman.
Alan Webb, 3:53.43 (2001)
Jim Ryun, 3:55.3 (1965)
Drew Hunter, 3:57.81 (2016)
Matthew Maton, 3:59.38 (2015)
Grant Fisher, 3:59.38 (2015)
Tim Danielson, 3:59.4 (1966)
Michael Slagowski, 3:59.53 (2016)
Lukas Verzbicas, 3:59.71 (2011)
Marty Liquori, 3:59.8 (1967)
QT #3: Jim Ryun Has the Only Sub-4 Mile Without a Rabbit in High School Competition
Message boarder poster Smile noted that Jim Ryun still is the only high schooler to run sub-4 without a rabbit. You can watch Ryun’s run below.
Screenshots from Runnerspace+ broadcast (subscription required to watch)