The National H.S. 4 x Mile record goes down… to crickets

This will be a short post, but maybe of some interest to fans of high school track and field.

A few days ago, my friend Josh alerted me to the fact that Flotrack had posted a video of the 2016 Penn Relays H.S. Boys DMR championship on YouTube, so anyone can watch it without paying for a FloTrack subscription. It’s a fantastic race, and I won’t be offended if you click on the link, below, and skip the rest of this post.

Josh’s email reminded me that I’d been thinking about how some top H.S. runners prefer to run relay events at the big, end-of-season, national meets, rather than go for individual glory. (The two aren’t mutually exclusive, of course.) But then I got distracted by the following result from the boys 4 x 1 Mile championship race at New Balance Outdoor Nationals:


You would think this would have been big news in the small world of high school track. Two schools, separated by six-hundredths of a second both eclipse a record that has been on the books for 40 years. Isn’t that incredibly newsworthy?

Apparently not, and probably because the Temecula team (Great Oak H.S.) had destroyed the 4 x 1600m at the Mt. Sac relays earlier in the spring, running 16:52, which converts to something like a 16:59.6 4 x 1 Mile. So I guess it was old news. But the fact that TWO schools broke the old record in the same race, with Ogden (American Fork  H.S.) winning, is still startling to me. And the story also has at least two local angles:

First, Wellesley H.S. placed 6th in what has got to be a MA record 17:31.08 (I’m too lazy to confirm that it is, indeed a record).

Second, one of the runners on the 1976 South Eugene team was Bill McChesney, brother of Newton South coach Steve McChesney, who at one time owned part of the 4 x mile record.

Maybe someone reading this blog will offer more insight into why this wasn’t a huge deal. It seems pretty cool to me.

About Jon Waldron

Running and Racing have been important parts of my life for as long as I can remember. I ran Track and Cross Country at Amherst HS, back in the day, and am proud to have been training and competing with the Cambridge Sports Union (CSU) for more than thirty years. If my bones hold out, I hope to continue for another thirty. Sixteen years ago, I began coaching, first as an Asst. Coach at Newton North HS in Newton, MA, and for the past ten years, as Head Track and Cross Country Coach at Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts. I've been writing about running for almost as long as I've been running, dating back to high school, when I would write meet summaries for the Amherst Record for about $0.33 per column inch. I've been blogging about running since 2005, and began blogging at "the runner eclectic" in 2014. Until recently I also had a day job, working full-time as a Technical Product Manager for Nuance Communications, based in Burlington, MA. But I am now on what might turn out to be a permanent sabbatical. Thank you for reading my blog, and please consider leaving a comment.
This entry was posted in High School Runners, Records & Statistics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The National H.S. 4 x Mile record goes down… to crickets

  1. Robin says:

    Fantastic race. The speech recognition, on the other hand …

  2. Michael Glennon says:

    Having just come back from Eugene, I can tell you it was a big deal to the Axeman.

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