NEW YORK —The biggest surprise of Saturday's Diamond League meet York was Lukas Verzbicas becoming the fifth high school runner in history to break the four-minute mile barrier.
The 18-year-old who recently graduated from Carl Sandburg High in Orland Park, Ill., won the high school boys dream mile at Icahn Stadium in 3 minutes, 59.71 seconds. Verzbicas will attend Oregon in the fall.
"I did not know until the last 50 meters because I was doubting myself," said Verzbicas, who was born in Lithuania and moved to the USA at age 8. "I was really hurting. I just put my head down, This is my last high school race, I've got to make it special. I went out there and did it."
The last high school runner with a sub-four minute mile was Alan Webb of South Lakes in Reston, Va., in 2001, when he set the national high school record of 3:53.43.
Jim Ryun the first high school runner to break four minutes in the mile in 1964 (3:59). He did it as a junior at Wichita East. He was at the race Saturday and said he was excited for Verzbicas.
In December, Verzbicas became the first to win the Nike Cross Nationals cross country meet and Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in the same year.