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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Ryun first high schooler to break 4-minute mile
By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com
June 5, 1964
Jim Ryun, a competitive distance runner for only two years, becomes the first high school runner to break four minutes in the mile. The 17-year-old sensation from Wichita East High School runs a 3:59 in the Compton (California) Relays.
Dyrol Burleson wins in 3:57.4 in a race, which for the first time ever, the first eight finishers better four minutes.
Ryun is tied for second after 440 yards, but he's bumped heading into the 660-yard turn. Tripped, he breaks stride and falls back from fifth to eighth. Wearing the blue and gold of the Wichita Kiwanis Track Club, Ryun moves up to seventh with 200 yards left before he is overtaken and finishes eighth.
Ryun says the bumping incident frightened him. "It hurt me mentally," he says. "I have been bumped before and fell down once, but this time I was just scared."
After signing autographs for 10 minutes, Ryun smiles and says, "I felt like I ran a good race. I hit our (his and his coach's) goal right on the button and I feel great."
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