Jake Watson Breaks 4-Minute Mile

The Deets is way behind on this news, but it’s better to be late than never on news this big. My brother in law, Jake, went sub-4 in the mile for the first time with a 3:59.4 in Nashville, TN on June, 2, 2007:

Bruce Brothers has a great column on Jake’s

Chasing the dream of a sub-4 mile as the big clock just keeps ticking

Watson, 21, has been running for years, logging as many as 85 miles a week and steadily inching closer to that 4-minute milestone. He hit a time of 4 minutes, 4 seconds as a Notre Dame sophomore, “and I knew I wanted to come out the next year and take a run at a sub-4,” he said.

Ah, the mystical sub-4.

Watson can remember going for a run with a friend six or seven years ago and dreaming out loud.

“We were talking about running a sub-4 mile,” he recalled, “and it seemed completely inconceivable.”

But Watson continued chasing that dream and continued closing in on it. As a junior at Notre Dame, he produced a time of 4 minutes, 0.71 seconds at an indoor meet in February. And he recorded a time of 3:43 over 1,500 meters, a time people told him converts to a one-mile time of 4-flat “or 3:59-high,” he said, meaning 3:59.9.

Awesomeness.

Congrats, Jake.

The Secret Sauce for Stillwater’s Milers

Bruce Brothers had an update on the Stillwater running factory in his Sunday column, generating some more Watson ink:

St. Paul Pioneer Press | 03/04/2007 | Inspiring results from Team USA and local high schools

Scott Christensen, the coach at Stillwater High School, sends along information that the Ponies are one of 19 prep teams that have produced at least two sub-4 minute milers, led by Eugene, Ore., South with four.

Stillwater is closing in on three. Jake Watson, a junior at Notre Dame, recently ran 4:00.71. If he breaks 4:00, Stillwater will become No. 2 on the listings with three, according to Marc Bloom and John Sillivan at the Harrier in New Jersey.

And three additional former Ponies runners have a shot at joining the club, which already includes former Ponies Luke Watson and Sean Graham, according to Christensen: Ben Blankenship at Mississippi State, Andy Tate at Kansas University and Chris Boldts, still a senior at Stillwater.

“It’s pretty cool,” Christensen said.

He said his program’s success feeds on itself.

“The biggest thing is, once you’ve had a kid from down the street or from your school do it,” he said, “it doesn’t seem so hard to do.”

In my opinion, the secret sauce at Stillwater has been the pasta parties thrown by Corrine Watson. It will be interesting to see if Stillwater can keep the mile dominance alive without pasta parties at the Watson household now that all Watson have graduated.

Will Tate step up and join the sub-4:00 crowd?