Alan Webb, from Reston and South Lakes High School, remains the fastest American ever to run a mile: 3:46.91, in 2007. Faster than Jim Ryun, faster than Steve Scott, the best. He also still has the American records for high school boys in the mile (3:53.43) and the 1,500 meters (3:38.26), run in the same race in Eugene, Ore., in May 2001. ESPN named him the nation’s top high school track and field athlete of the decade.
But Olympic glory has eluded him. In 2004, he made the U.S. team but didn’t make the 1500 meter final. In 2008, he didn’t make the U.S. team. His prospects lately have been uneven. In an important tuneup in the 1,500 meters earlier this month in New York, he finished 11th. But at a regional level meet at George Mason in April, he won the 5,000 meters and finished fourth in the 1,500. The Olympic trials are this week, back in the track capital of Eugene, where he ran his most spectacular high school race. He may try for the 5,000 meters there.
He is now 29, married, with a baby on the way and living in Charlottesville. He has surprised us before and he is training hard to make one last push for glory. The Post’s Rick Maese has a great story updating us on one of Northern Virginia’s all-time great athletes, and what looks to be his final chapter, win or lose.
And here is a video of Webb in Brasschaat, Belgium, in 2007, breaking the 25-year-old American record of Steve Scott by .78 seconds. The world record in the mile is now 3:43.13 by Hicham el Guerrouj of Morocco, set in 1999.