Sam Parsons, son of CRR Christina Parsons and CRR George Parsons, achieved a personal milestone recently and became the first Delawarean to run a sub-four-minute mile. In fact, he was so juiced that he did it twice in one week in major races.
The following is an excerpt from the official race website of the annual New York Road Runners Fifth Avenue Mile, contested on September 9, 2018.
In the men’s race, Sam Parsons bolted to an immediate 5-meter lead, his mind clearly on the halfway leader’s bonus. He hit the first quarter in 57 seconds, while the pack, led by Johnny Gregorek, came through in about 59. Defending champion Nick Willis of New Zealand, seeking his fifth title in this event, was in the center of the chase group, patiently waiting for the real racing to begin.
Parsons reached the half mile in 2:00 with a 10-meter cushion on the field, but that gap quickly disintegrated. Just past three-quarters of a mile (3:00), the pack swallowed up the leader, with Chris O’Hare of Scotland making a bold surge to the front from the far right-hand side of the course. [Scotland’s Jake] Wightman, Willis and Neil Gourley, yet another Scot, covered the move best.
Wightman seized the lead in the final 200 meters, and held off Willis for the win, 3:53.5 to 3:54.2. Gourley (3:55.3) took third, with American Eric Avila (3:55.5) and Aussie Sam McEntee (3:56.0) rounding out the top 5. Parsons was only 14th (3:57.7) but scored his early-leader payday [$1,000] by meeting the sub-4:00 finish requirement. Olympic 1500 gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz didn’t factor in the final sprint and placed 16th in 4:00.2.
Just four days earlier, Parsons had broken the 4-minute barrier for his first time, finishing in 3:59.7 and placing 10th in the Hoka One One Long Island Mile. He runs professionally for Tinman Elite out of Boulder, Colo., and is sponsored by Adidas.
A Newark, Del., native and 3200m state record holder, Parsons ran locally while at The Tatnall School and then went on to log a stellar collegiate career at North Carolina State. In June, he competed in the USA Track & Field Championships in the 5000m final, where he actually led the race with 800 meters to go.
Mom and Dad need to help him work on his finishing kick (just kidding).