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The U.S. Sub-4:00 Mile Club

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  • The U.S. Sub-4:00 Mile Club

    That compilation just got a severe vetting, finding multiple errors that had crept in (or didn't get in at all) through the years. The total of American sub-4:00 guys now stands at 312 (Lomong at Pre being the latest).

    http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/archive/U.S.Sub-4s.pdf

  • #2
    Excellent list and thank you for all that work. Interesting that Jim Ryun was only the thirteenth American to break four minutes for the mile and Jim Spivey was the 100th.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Double R Bar
      Excellent list and thank you for all that work. Interesting that Jim Ryun was only the thirteenth American to break four minutes for the mile and Jim Spivey was the 100th.
      I found it very interesting that high schoolers were numbers 13, 18, and 25. It would have been perfectly reasonable ca. 1967 to have assumed that, on average, a high schooler would break 4 minutes at least once every other year from then on...

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      • #4
        Since it is demonstrably possible, I wonder why so few HSers have broken 4 minutes in 41 years.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by kuha
          Originally posted by Double R Bar
          Excellent list and thank you for all that work. Interesting that Jim Ryun was only the thirteenth American to break four minutes for the mile and Jim Spivey was the 100th.
          I found it very interesting that high schoolers were numbers 13, 18, and 25. It would have been perfectly reasonable ca. 1967 to have assumed that, on average, a high schooler would break 4 minutes at least once every other year from then on...
          When Marty Liquori ran 3:59.8 in Jim Ryun's WR 3:51.1 race in 1967 to become the 3rd prep to break 4-minutes, Cordner Nelson's writeup in T&F News treated it as an "Oh, by the way" moment, since it WAS "perfectly reasonable" to expect that it would become a regular occurrence for high schoolers.

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          • #6
            [quote=Walt Murphy]
            Originally posted by kuha
            Originally posted by "Double R Bar":36sjzd3c
            Excellent list and thank you for all that work. Interesting that Jim Ryun was only the thirteenth American to break four minutes for the mile and Jim Spivey was the 100th.
            I found it very interesting that high schoolers were numbers 13, 18, and 25. It would have been perfectly reasonable ca. 1967 to have assumed that, on average, a high schooler would break 4 minutes at least once every other year from then on...
            When Marty Liquori ran 3:59.8 in Jim Ryun's WR 3:51.1 race in 1967 to become the 3rd prep to break 4-minutes, Cordner Nelson's writeup in T&F News treated it as an "Oh, by the way" moment, since it WAS "perfectly reasonable" to expect that it would become a regular occurrence for high schoolers.[/quote:36sjzd3c]

            I remember that race--I know I saw it on TV, and think that perhaps the announcers made some mention of Liquori's achievement. As you say, it was notable, but not that big a deal. Why that flurry of high school sub-4s in 1964-67, and then no more through the end of the century?? Anyone in '67 predicting such a thing would have instantly been put in a straight jacket.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by lonewolf
              Since it is demonstrably possible, I wonder why so few HSers have broken 4 minutes in 41 years.
              Uh, because it's really hard to do?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DrJay
                Originally posted by lonewolf
                Since it is demonstrably possible, I wonder why so few HSers have broken 4 minutes in 41 years.
                Uh, because it's really hard to do?
                True, but it just seems strange nature is not continually producing strong, young 4 minute milers. :?

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                • #9
                  Not in the US, anyway!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bruce Kritzler
                    Not in the US, anyway!
                    Well, that is the list we are discussing. Which raises another question. Why not here? It is not as though the potential 4 minute mile teenagers are playing football or basketball. I don't think.

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                    • #11
                      The mile isn't run as often as it used to in the 60's.

                      Look up the high schoolers doing the 1500 in the "equivalent" of a 4 minute mile (~ 3:43) and see if there are some more names added to the list.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lonewolf
                        Well, that is the list we are discussing. Which raises another question. Why not here? It is not as though the potential 4 minute mile teenagers are playing football or basketball. I don't think.
                        Potential 4 minute milers have good physical traits for soccer, and soccer in the USA has increased a lot in popularity since the 1960s.

                        Don't count out basketball either. Guys in the 5-9 to 6-2 range who are point guards in basketball might have been able to become good milers.

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                        • #13
                          Maybe one of the reasons more high school runners are not breaking four minutes in the mile is because less of them run the mile now. Back in the 1960's every runner ran the mile. Now they run 1,500 meters or 1,600 meters.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Double R Bar
                            Maybe one of the reasons more high school runners are not breaking four minutes in the mile is because less of them run the mile now. Back in the 1960's every runner ran the mile. Now they run 1,500 meters or 1,600 meters.
                            But even when converting times from 1500 and 1600 Alan Webb remains the only person after the Ryun-Danielson-Liquori trio to break 4-minutes or its equivalent.

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                            • #15
                              Maybe another reason is that runners worked harder and ran more intervals back in the 1960's than they do now.

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