Rheinhardt Harrison Taking Another Crack At Sub-4 In Atlanta

Maybe the third time is a charm for Rheinhardt Harrison

The Nease (FL) High School junior will travel to Atlanta, Georgia this weekend to compete at the Atlanta Track Club Classic on Saturday at an undisclosed high school facility within the city limits, just two weeks removed from his latest effort at the distance in South Carolina and approximately a month following his 4:01 breakthrough in Nashville, the Atlanta Track Club announced on Thursday. 

And so his quest to break four minutes in the mile at the age of 16 isn't over ... just yet.

Harrison's most recent mile came on Aug. 29, wherein he ran 4:02.61 in a field of professionals at the SC Trackfest in Columbia. That fantastic performance followed his major breakthrough of 4:01.34 at the Music City Distance Carnival on Aug. 15, which shattered a sophomore class record formerly held by Edward Cheserek and the former 16-year-old age group record.

Previously, Harrison also ran 4:09.79 at the Desert Dream Last Hurrah Track and Field Invitational in June. Saturday's race would mark his fourth mile attempt of 2020. 

Only 11 high school boys in history have broken four minutes in the mile, though none were 16 and just Jim Ryun was a junior in high school in 1964.

Harrison is currently the fastest American 16-year-old in history, but he hopes to become one of the world's fastest athletes at that age ever, choosing to race again with professionals in Atlanta. If he were to break the four minute barrier, he would also become the youngest athlete to ever break that mark, too, passing Norway's Jacob Ingebrigtsen, who ran under four in June of 2017, though was two months older. Harrison turns 17 in February. 

Harrison, a talented runner in cross country who is coached by Tinman Elite coach Tom Schwartz, has yet to fully dive into his fall season just yet, although he ran one tune-up race on Aug. 21 in Jacksonville, Florida, posting a time of 17:56.00 for 5K.

Harrison will join a professional field, and it looks to be a race that is hoping to streamline him toward his goal pace. A former Florida State middle-distance runner, Kasey Knevelbaard has been assigned to take the field through the 800m split in 1:59, the Atlanta Track Club reported. 

Photo Credit: Bryce Statler/FlRunners

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