Colin Sahlman Scheduled For Bowerman Mile At Prefontaine

* Colin Sahlman after winning the 3,200m at the Arcadia Invitational

Photo Credit: Raymond Tran/MileSplit

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Most years, the idea of a high school boy breaking 3:53 in the mile is a fun idea. The thought of someone crossing Alan Webb's 21-year-old record is enough to raise eyebrows and get people talking. 

But in theory, it rarely has been all that realistic. 

Only until last year did that thought begin to resurface when Hobbs Kessler seemed to challenge our idea of that record. He made us believe it wasn't unbeatable. The Ann Arbor native went on to surpass the 1,500m national record mark in a professional race at the Portland Track Festival, hitting 3:34.36. 

The only difference? He didn't run the full mile. 

Which brings us to Newbury Park's Colin Sahlman.

The NAU recruit is entered in Saturday's Bowerman Mile at the Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field, part of a long line of established high school stars receiving a chance to run with the pros. 

In recent years, we've seen the likes of Brodey Hasty (2018), DJ Principe (2017) and Drew Hunter (2016) in that prestigious field. Hunter, the former Loudoun Valley (VA) High School star, was the last high schooler to break four in the field, clocking a time of 3:58.86 during his final stretch as a prep. 

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How to Watch: 

The Prefontaine Classic will air on the NC Sports app on Saturday. Sahlman's race is set for approximately 2:39 p.m. PST. 

Sahlman will enter having tuned up at the Sound Running Track Meet, having run 3:39.59, a conversion to the mile of 3:57.16. 

Previously, he has run 3:58.81 for the full mile indoors. This month, Gary Martin joined Sahlman as another high schooler to break four minutes in the mile. 

Will Sahlman's record attempt be possible on Saturday?

We sure think so. 

With a field that includes Timothy Cheruiyot, Ollie Hoare, Cole Hocker, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Clayton Murphy and Cooper Teare, Sahlman will be pitted against the best in the world. 

If the Newbury Park senior -- the reigning Gatorade National Cross Country Player of the Year -- finds the right gear, we could be leaving the Bowerman Mile with the next great miler over the high school ranks. 

And what's more? 

Sahlman's decision-making process to get to this point. 

The Newbury Park senior opted to forgo his final opportunity to compete at the CIF Outdoor Track and Field Championships this weekend -- long held as a rite of passage for high schoolers -- to run in the Bowerman Mile.

This is bigger than you might think.

With the CIF State Championships having been canceled over the past two years, Sahlman never officially ran at California's top prep event of the calendar year. 

And if he runs a high school national record on Saturday, he may foot a stamp on one of the greatest high school distance campaigns ever.