Four Reasons Why More High Schoolers Are Running Sub-4
"When you see someone that’s your peer and a fellow competitor run really well, it’s definitely motivating.” - Grant Fisher
By John Kissane, Runner's World
When 18-year-old Michael Slagowski stopped the clock at 3:59.53 to win the Jesuit Twilight Mile on April 29 in Portland, Oregon, he became the ninth American high school runner to break the coveted 4:00 barrier.
And he was the fourth high school runner to do it in 12 months.
Why have these high school sub-4:00s come in clusters?
While the U.S. high school sub-4:00 Mile club remains exclusive, its membership has nearly doubled in less than a year. Here are four factors driving the recent cluster of fast prep Miles.
No. 1: Better Coaching, Better Training
Few current prep athletes know much about the training of runners from earlier eras. But many of today’s coaches and former standouts do, and the consensus is that training methods are far superior today. “It’s an ongoing conveyor belt of constantly refining the parameters of training,” said Marcus O’Sullivan, men’s track & field and cross country coach at Villanova University, who ran 101 sub-4:00 Miles during his collegiate and professional career. “And the amount of coaching being done on a sound foundation is very, very good.”
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