Mile News

The List: Best high school athletes ever

February 02, 2003

Jim Ryun, first high school boy to run sub-4 minute Mile, selected over Tiger Woods and LeBron James

From ESPN Page 2 staff

LeBron James is uncommonly good. But just how uncommon? We dove into our collective brainpool and scoured ESPN's Fly High with Delta Bill Bradley Sports Library to try to put LeBron's high school exploits into context. Check out our list of the top 10 prep athletes, the best ever! LeBron not #1 nor #2.

#1 Jim Ryun (East High School, Wichita, Kansas)
As a high school senior in 1965, Ryun ran a 3:55.3 Mile at the AAU Championships to defeat Olympic champion Peter Snell. His record would stand for almost 36 years, broken in 2001 by Alan Webb. That's one reason he tops this list. Here are some others: Back in the day when sub-4-minute Miles were relatively scarce, Ryun broke 4 minutes as a junior. Five of the six fastest schoolboy Miles have been run by Ryun, most of them on much slower track surfaces than today's. While still in high school, Ryun competed in the 1500 meters in the 1964 Olympics, making it to the semifinals.

Continue reading to see the rest of the list:

Tags: jim ryun (105)

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