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Athletes and Olympians - June 20, 2014

Q: Fifty years ago this month, 17-year-old Jim Ryun became the first high school kid in the country to run a mile in less than four minutes. He went on to do it three more times! Which Wichita high school did Jim Ryun attend?  


Jim Ryun FULL(Photo Courtesy of



A: Wichita East High School


ryun SI(Photo Courtesy Sports Illustrated)

This month, Kansas native Jim Ryun celebrated the 50th anniversary of the race that made him the first high school student to run a mile under four minutes. At the time, Ryun was a 17-year-old junior at East High School in Wichita. He was competing against older runners on June 5, 1964, at the Compton Invitational near Los Angeles when he ran the mile in 3 minutes, 59 seconds. He was bumped during the race and finished eighth, but it began a career in which Ryun went on to set world records and compete in the Olympics. Only five high school runners have broken the 4-minute mile since Ryun did it. But he did it three times. Years later, Ryun served as a Republican member of Congress, representing the 2nd District of eastern Kansas.

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