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The Delaware Mile Challenge

On the evening of Saturday, April 9, elite milers will gather along with others who like the challenge of an open track mile for a set of races at the Tatnall School track. The four-minute mile barrier has never been broken in Delaware, though there have been at least two young Delawarean men who have achieved that feat recently, although not on First State soil. The fastest mile ever clocked in Delaware was a 4:01.1, way back in 1972.

photo of Sam Parsons making eye contact with an Ethiopian competitor

First and foremost, CRR Sam Parsons, the Newark native and Tatnall alum who has eclipsed the mark a couple times within the past few years, will be ready to give it a go. Since his successful collegiate career at NC State, Parsons has been training professionally with Tinman Elite out of Boulder, Colo., and has had some success at middle distances representing Germany (his mother, CRR Christina Parsons, is German-born) internationally. His fastest (non-track) mile is 3:55.00.

News Journal photo of Kieran Tuntivate

Then there’s Kieran Tuntivate, a Charter School of Wilmington grad who recently completed his college running at Harvard, who will join Parsons to try to smash through the barrier in his home state. Tuntivate has recently been running internationally for Thailand, from where his father hails. His fastest outdoor mile is 3:57.87. Former Harvard runner and CRR Bruce Weber calls Tuntivate “the best Harvard distance runner ever.”

There will be a few other entrants who’ve also broken four minutes in the mile.

The event, which is open to all, is being organized by University of Delaware running alum Pat Castagno, who is Tatnall’s track and field coach.

The schedule will be as follows:

5:00 p.m. – middle school boys and girls
5:15 p.m – community mile for kids 11-and-under, who may be accompanied by parents
5:30 p.m – high school girls mile
6:15 p.m – high school boys mile
7:00 p.m. – open mile, for those 18 to 39 or others not on high school team rosters
7:20 p.m. – women 40-and-over
7:40 p.m. – men 40-and-over
8:20 p.m. – elite women
8:40 p.m. – elite men

Race registration for non-high school runners is $10 per runner by April 7 and includes a race shirt. Admission cost for spectators is $5.