Simeon Birnbaum (3:57.53) Comes Up Well Short of Alan Webb’s Record But History Is Made at HOKA Festival of Miles 

In a race hyped as an attempt to break Alan Webb‘s legendary 3:53.43 US high school mile record, history was made tonight at the HOKA Festival of Miles in St. Louis. No, no one came close to Webb’s mark, but for the first time in US history, four high schoolers broke the 4-minute barrier in the same race, including the first high school sub-4 by an African-American runner.

Birnbaum wins

South Dakota’s Simeon Birnbaum, the Oregon signee who went from 4:07 to 3:59 last year at the Brooks meet, led the way. The Arcadia 3200 record holder (8:34.10) took the lead just after the bell and went on to win convincingly in 3:57.53 after a 57.68 last lap. North Carolina’s Rocky Hansen, a Wake Forest signee, was second in 3:58.23 (previous PB was 3:59.56). Maryland’s Tinoda Matsatsa, a Georgetown commit who won New Balance indoors in the 800 in 1:48.27, but only had a 4:05.68 mile PB, was third in 3:58.70. He also made history as the first black US high schooler to break 4. Iowa’s Jackson Heidesch, a Duke signee who had a 4:02 PB coming in, was fourth in 3:59.08.

Connor Burns, who broke 4 in this meet last year and said he’d run with rabbit Erik Sowinski in pursuit of Webb’s record, led the race for the first 1100 meters, as the first HSer hit splits of 59.21 for 409 meters, 1:59.13 for 809 and 2:59.79 for 1209, but faded badly on the last lap (63.17 last 400) and finished 7th in 4:03.25.

NXN winner Aaron Sahlman, who just over a week ago said he tore his IT band, started the race but dropped out around the 700m mark. *Full Results

Birnbaum takes the lead just after the bell

Full Race Replay

NAZ Elite pros came from behind to win the men’s and and women’s pro miles. In the women’s race, Abby Nichols closed in 62.56 to run down Alexina Teubel and win in 4:26.08 as Olin Hacker used a 55.19 last lap to run down Brett Meyer and win in 3:56.69 to Meyer’s 3:57.06. North Carolina’s Charlotte Bell, a high school junior, won the girls’ HS mile in 4:41.33.

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Talk about the action on our world-famous fan forum / messageboard.

*MB: Can Burns or Birnbaum break Webb’s 3:53 high school mile record? Official Festival of Miles Discussion Thread
*MB: LOL you kids today talking about Breaking Webbs 3:53 LOL
*MB: Who allowed Aaron Sahlman to run Hoka?

Birnbaum post-race interview:

Leading HS boys results appear below.

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