When Jonah Gorevic won the youth mile at the Adidas Grand Prix at New York’s Icahn Stadium, the world took notice. A 5:01.55 mile time is fast, but usually not fast enough to generate the kind of national, and even international, buzz that descended on Gorevic. That’s because Gorevic isn’t your average runner. He’s a 10-year-old fifth grader.
As reported by Competitor magazine, NBC Sports and a variety of sources, Gorevic shattered the previous record for fastest mile by a runner aged 10-and-younger. The previous record was 5:05.3, with Gorevic bettering that time by nearly four seconds. Incredibly, his coach Carl Curran also insisted that Gorevic probably could have broken 5 minutes flat if there had been better conditions; the meet on Randall’s Island in New York City was contested in the heat with a significant amount of wind.
“We had trained for sub-5 and I think if it wasn’t so hot and windy on the backstretch, he probably would have given that a good run,” Curran, who is the lead coach at Tailwinds Track Club in Rye, NY, told Grenada Sports in a video interview from the mixed zone. “As you saw, his splits were pretty even. He has to work on middle two, but will always bring it home strong.”
The more you dig into Gorevic’s story, the more remarkable the pint sized middle distance runner’s achievement becomes. He only trains for track two nights a week because he is also a competitive youth soccer player, and he only took up cross country in fall 2013. Gorevic said he was motivated to break the record because he’d been focusing on it, “for two months and a day.” Not only is that a very precise increment to focus on, it’s actually a long time for a 10-year-old.
Before anyone gets worked up about Gorevic burning himself out with too much athletic intensity at such a young age, the Rye-native who attends F.E. Bellows School seems to have a proper perspective on things. When asked about his next race, he said that he probably wouldn’t compete again until September, because he has a month of summer camp ahead that will temporarily halt his training.
If nothing else, that seems to indicate that he has his priorities in the right place. There’s still plenty of years ahead for more records, but summer camp is only available for a short window in life. In the meantime, he can kick back and read celebratory tweets from the likes of Olympian Bernard Lagat, just like any other 10-year-old who finishes their homework early.