We Might Not Have Seen The Last Sub-4 Of 2020 Just Yet

* Cruz Culpepper paced the men's professional mile through 1,000 meters on Saturday

Photo Credit: Harold Smith/Arizona MileSplit

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One thing was clear after Cruz Culpepper's personal best 800 meter run on Saturday at the Desert Dream Last Hurrah Invitational in Arizona. 

The University of Washington recruit, a recent graduate of Niwot (CO) High School, is in much better shape than he was at the end of the indoor season, when he ran 4:00.10 indoors for the full mile -- which was the fastest time ever recorded for a high school boy on an oversized track. 

And so while Culpepper finished second overall in 1:48.50 to Amador Valley's John Lester -- who ran the third-fastest junior 800m in history in 1:48.26 -- on Saturday at Poston Butte High School, there was little disappointment, considering Culpepper's performance indicates a strong chance he could go after a sub-4 mile in the near future. 

Get this: Barely an hour after his 800m performance, Culpepper paced the men's pro mile field through 1,000 meters in 2:32 (and a roughly 2:01 800m split). 

And then there's also this: A week or so prior to his effort on Saturday, Culpepper said he finished off a hard workout with a 600m simulation in a time of 1:18 -- which was a 3-second improvement from that same workout the previous indoor season. 

So sure enough, Culpepper will see if he can make that historic-mark happen. He confirmed on Saturday that on June 27 he will enter in a professional mile field at altitude in Grand Junction, Colorado, and then will follow with another attempt at Stumptown in Portland on July 12. 

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Historic 800m-Mile Comparison

eventnamedatemile time800 pr
Pre ClassicAlan Webb20013:53.431:47.74
Adidas Grand PrixLukas Verzbicas20113:59.71NA
Pre ClassicDrew Hunter20163:58.861:48.64
Fes. of MilesReed Brown20173:59.301:51.01
Fes. of MilesGrant Fisher20153:59.38NA
Or. TwilightMatthew Maton20153:59.381:51.81
Nike TwilightMichael Slagowski20163:59.531:48.36
Quarantine ClasicoLeo Daschbach20203:59.541:49.99

If he does achieve that feat, it could make a special kind recruiting history, too. No collegiate program has ever brought in two sub-4 American high school talents in the same year. 

Interestlingly enough, that June 27 race won't be the only sub-4 attempt that weekend, either. 

Jesuit (CA) graduate Matt Strangio wants one more shot at the mark, too, as the California native is putting together one more mile field together before he ends his high school career.

Each will feature a major distinction. 

Culpepper's attempts will come against professionals -- elevating the chance he breaks 4. Strangio's race at South Eugene High School will once again feature a list of high school athletes .. and a collegiate pacer from the University of Portland. 

Just weeks ago, Strangio lost out on his chance to compete for that historic sub-4 run with the elite field at the Quarantine Clasico -- a race he orchestrated -- when a shin injury ruled him out. Leo Daschbach ultimately made good on the race's projection, running the ninth-fastest high school mile time in history in 3:59.54. 

Strangio wants one more shot. 

And there is no doubt, June 27 will represent the absolute last chance for him to achieve that feat, as he has coordinated with his future coach at Portland to take a much-needed break before putting forward a hard block of months-long training. 

As of now, Strangio will also line up with Bellarmine Prep's (CA) Colin Peattie, Parkrose's (OR) Ahmed Ibrahim and the fast-rising Lester of Amador Valley, who ran 4:08.90 on May 23. 

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High School Mile Field For June 27

nameschoolprevious pr
Matt StrangioJesuit (CA)4:04.98
Colin PeattieBellarmine Prep (CA)4:11.34c
John LesterAmador Valley (CA)4:08.90
Ahmed IbrahimParkrose (OR)4:11.31
Ajani SalcidoJesuit (CA)4:17.33

MileSplit will keep you updated as both individuals figure out logistics over the next few weeks. 

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