Four of the 10 high school runners invited to the Adidas Dream Mile were from Utah, and one of those teens won the prestigious race.
American Fork standout Patrick Parker won the race with a time of 4:03.99. The future BYU Cougar was the runner-up at the Utah State Track championships last month in both the 800 and 1,600-meter races. He was also a member of the 4x1600 meter relay team that set a national record this spring.
Parker edged Austin Hindman, 4:04.53, and American Fork teammate Casey Clinger, 4:04.87. American Fork’s Mckay Johns finished fifth with a time of 4:06.18, while the fourth Utah teen in the race, Springville’s Hayden Penrod finished 10th with a time of 4:17.39.
Penrod was the 2017 state champion in both the 800 meter and 1600 meter races.
American Fork track and cross country coach Timo Mostert said all three of the young men who run for him set personal bests in the race.
“I think for them state is the most important race,” Mostert said. “This is icing on the cake. It’s a chance to be able to go and race against some of the fastest runners in the country.”
The runners had the difficult task of trying to maintain their fitness after the state championships, which are the ultimate goal for the athletes. Mostert talked to his runners after the race, and they were feeling the effects of recent racing.
“They felt pretty good about it,” he said. “Their legs were a little tired, a little heavy. But they all set PRs.”
Mostert said he hoped someone in the group would be able to break the four-minute mark, but a pacesetter, referred to as ‘the rabbit’, set a slower pace than expected.
“I was hoping the rabbit they had would get them to a pace where they could break a sub-four,” he said. “That was one of their goals, but the rabbit went out at 2:04, that put them behind, and they had really good closing halves, but it wasn’t enough to make up four seconds.”
Another high school track star, Reed Brown, broke the four-minute mark at the Festival of Miles in St. Louis on June 1, the day before the Adidas race. He ran the mile in 3:59.30.
Despite missing the four-minute goal, the trio from American Fork took first, third and fifth in one of the country’s most prestigious races.
“Those three boys, those times, they’re in the top 10 nationally, all three of them,” he said. “This is probably the fastest high school trio in U.S. history.”
All four young men have committed to run for BYU once they begin their collegiate careers, but Parker and Johns will serve LDS missions before enrolling. Johns leaves on July 5 when he'll start serving in the Wichita, Kansas, mission, Mostert said.
Clinger will attend fall semester, while Parker plans to submit mission papers in the next few days.