That’s fast! Nease grad Rheinhardt Harrison makes history with time in the mile

Becomes just 16th high school athlete to break four-minute barrier

Nease's Rheinhardt Harrison broke the four-minute mile mark on Friday night, becoming just the 16th high school age athlete to accomplish the feat. (Justin Barney, News4JAX)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Rheinhardt Harrison finally hit a milestone that he’d been agonizingly close to before.

The four-minute mile barrier has been broken. Finally.

Harrison, a Nease graduate, finally cracked the four-minute mile mark on Friday night, turning in a 3-minute, 59.33-second time in the Golden South Series No. 2 meet at East Lake High School.

Harrison is just the 16th high school runner to crack the sub four-minute mile, and first to do it at a race in Florida.

The Oregon signee and three-time All-News4JAX cross country athlete of the year is a multi-time state champ across both track and cross country events.

But the sub-four mile has been something that had eluded Harrison for a couple of years and had been a serious target of his in that span.

He ran a 4:01.34 at the Music City Distance Carnival in Nashville in the fall of 2020 to set a national record for the fastest mile by a 16-year-old. But previous attempts at the mile had fallen short of the mark, including a then-record of 4:01.15 at the Tyson Invitational in February and a 4:14.93 at the Bolles Mile Showcase last April.

It marks an unbelievable week in the four-minute mile barrier. On May 28, Colin Sahlman ran a 3:56.24 at the Prefontaine Classic. On Thursday, two runners in the same race at the Festival of Miles in St. Louis went sub-four. Gary Martin of Archbishop Wood ran a 3:57.89 and Connor Burns of Southern Boone in Ashland, Mo. clocked a 3:58.83.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.