Kevin Liao got us started with his Monday morning video and I’ll take over on Tuesdays.
With the Millrose Games on Saturday and in honor of our site’s Millrose Week theme, I wanted to bring it way back to the orange and yellow track at Madison Square Garden for the 1982 high school boys mile.
There’s a few reasons why I want to throw it back to a time before I was born. I like the ’82 High School Boys Mile at the Millrose Games not only because it’s one of the few older races you can watch online, but because it was the second time that the race produced a back-to-back champion (Kevin Byrne, ’76 & ’77). There’s also the East Coast bias of being from New York.
The race included: Earl Jones (would go on to be the 800-meter bronze medalist at the 1984 Olympics), Miles Irish (Only NY State high schooler to hold five state records at one time), Doug Smith (No. 1 Canadian High School Miler in 1982), Ken Wilson (Bishop Loughlin High School and New York City’s best miler in 1982), Mike Stahr (Carmel High School star who ran 4:15 as a Sophomore) along with many others to fill out this loaded field..
Despite the noticeable lack of HD video, the sound is pretty clear. You can easily hear everyones’ spikes spanking against the temporary track at MSG.
Stahr took the race out aggressively in 59 seconds and remember that this was at a time when the amount of high school milers under 4:10 didn’t go into the double digits. Feeling the hot pace, the race settled in a bit and went through half way just over 2:06.
After the race, Stahr’s coach, Paul Collins, told Sports Illustrated, “He has a perfect body for distance running. He has the will. He has tremendous desire as a competitor, the willingness to endure hard workouts.”
He proved it by fighting off moves from Irish and Jones. Stahr emerged victorious as the winner of the Millrose High School Mile and then defended his title a year later.
At the time, it was arguably the best high school boys mile field ever assembled on an indoor track and it sure lived up to the hype.
For some inside info: There’s a lot of small connections as to why I like this race more than I should. I’ve been using Running2Win as my running log for about 10 years now. Mike Stahr owns and operates this site. Stahr would anchor the 4x800m American Record in his freshmen year in college, 1:45 split. Mike Stahr and Miles Irish (along with others in the race) are New Yorkers. One of my college teammates attended Miles Irish’s Burnt Hills High School. Stahr and Irish went on to be teammates at Georgetown, where they set a then-world record in the Distance Medley Relay (DMR) of 9:20.9 at the Penn Relays. The anchor clocked a 3:54 and helped beating the old record by 2 seconds. It remains the Hoya’s school record. My podiatrist in college (In Connecticut) was Brian Fullem, he was in this race as well. He ran in college with a guy from my hometown, I also ran with his teammates’ daughter in high school. This running world, it’s so small.