Zane Bergen Comes Oh So Close With 4:00.48 Mile At Brooks PR

When the bell rang out Zane Bergen had 58-seconds until the clock would tick pass four-minutes.

2022 has clearly become the Year of the Mile, because the four-minute barrier has taken a beating in recent weeks. 

The boy's mile at the Brooks PR Invitational capped the day in Seattle, Wash., as the coveted Four Minute Mile would be attacked once more - that much was clear from the opening strides.

Taking the pacing duties was Gary Martin, who was fresh off his own 3:57 mile from two weeks ago. He set the pace just under 60-seconds through the opening lap.

The honest pace strung the pack out quickly. Bergen sat in fourth, bidding his time. 

Halfway through the race he remained in fourth, and on pace for a 4:02 - he passed the 800 in 2:01 with several others nipping at his heels as they ran onwards into the furthest lap from the finish - the third.

Bergen took those crisp, business-like strides around the track and prepared to attack not just the clock, but the field.

With 500 to go Bergen slid out into Lane 2 and launched into his kick.

The Niwot senior took the bell with 3:02 on the clock, but plenty of pounce still in his stride.

The final lap went to the kickers, and Bergen wasn't entirely alone - Simeon Birnbaum was in the hunt. 

Devan Kipyego made a bid for the lead as they rounded the track with 200 to go. For a brief moment, Bergen went from being hunted, to back to hunting. 

With 160 to go Bergen went to the arms. With traffic now across the track, he had to once again slide out to Lane 2.

He inched his way back into the lead, but there was still Birnabuam who would be the last to kick.

Birnabuam went on to become the fifth runner in 2022 to break the four-minute marker, running 3:59.51. And as fate would have this race, Bergen would use all 58-seconds of that final 400, to come agonizingly close to achieving the feat himself, as he finished second in 4:00.48 for a US No. 6.

The time was a two-second PR for the Niwot senior. He ran 4:02.64 for the full-mile at the New Balance Nationals Indoor in March.

And Bergen wasn't the only Coloradan to tally a big performance - several of Colorado's best headed west to Seattle, Wash. for the Brooks PR Invitational

Several hours earlier 4A 3,200 state champion Eva Klingbeil and state runner-up Bethany Michalak were part of a fast 3,200. 

A hot early pace set this race up to be a quick one. 

Klingbeil and Michalak sat back through the opening laps before moving up big time over the final half-mile.

The duo kicked hard over the final lap to give Colorado a 3-4 finish, with Klingbeil running just off her personal best in 10:03, and Michalak just a stride back in a massive PR of 10:05. 

The times make Klinbeil and Michalak the No. 3 and No. 4 fastest 2-milers in Colorado history. 

Riley Stewart toed the line in the mile for the second time at Brooks PR. A year ago she finished second in 4:40.66. 

The opening lap was right around 71-seconds, and Stwewart was in the mix. The pace remained around 4:40-pace like clockwork through the second lap. 

A pack of nearly 10 hit the bell, with Stewart attacking on the outside lane. And then one-by-one, the kicks began.

With 200 to go it looked like anyone's race.

Onwards into the final 100 the race broke open, with Juliette Whittaker defended her Brooks PR mile title with a 4:36.23 clocking. Stewart finished fourth in a PR of 4:38.21 while seven broke 4:40.

The time makes Stewart the second-fastest Coloradan ever behind Katie Rainsberger's 4:36.61.