BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Rochester native Wesley Meyer ran a mile in 3:59.69 seconds at the Music City Carnival track meet in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday.
The time was both a personal best and the first time Meyer had ever broken four minutes in the mile.
According to trackandfieldnews.com, only 584 American men had ever run the mile in under four minutes as of May 1.
“Last night's 3:59 mile began 12 years ago when a little middle schooler at RMS had a dream to break the 4 minute barrier,” Meyer said in a tweet Monday. “So many people have poured into my running career over the years, but it all started in zebra country. Don't be afraid to dream big!”
Roger Bannister, a British physician, was the first man to run a mile under four minutes in May 1954 when he ran the mile in 3:59.4 at a track in Oxford, England.
Don Bowden was the first American to run the mile in under four minutes when he ran a 3:58.7 in June 1957.
Morocco’s Hicham El Gerrouj holds the world record of 3:43.13 set at a meet in Rome on July 7, 1999.
Meyer finished second behind Miami’s Sean Torpy in the race. Torpy was timed in 3:59.04. Michael Coccia, a Canadian runner, was third in 3:59.90.
Meyer is a 2016 Rochester High School grad. He was 24th in the 1,600 meters in 4:27.81 and seventh in the 800 meters in 1:56.33 at the 2016 IHSAA state finals.
After graduating from Rochester, Meyer ran collegiately at Olivet Nazarene and Lipscomb universities.
He had run a 4:04.98 mile in a meet at Charlottesville, Va., on May 1 while representing Lipscomb. Meyer competed for Lipscomb, an NCAA Division I school located in Nashville, as a graduate student after spending four years at Olivet Nazarene.
In March 2020, he won the NAIA indoor national championship in 4:06.09 in a meet in Brookings, S.D., while representing Olivet Nazarene.
He was second in the 1,500 meters in 3:54.48 at the 2019 NAIA outdoor nationals meet in Gulf Shores, Ala.
A mile is 1,760 yards – or 1,609.3 meters – long. A runner must run at approximately 15 miles per hour over that distance in order to run the mile in under four minutes.