Why Fastest U.S. College Mile Runner Won't Be Vying To Be NCAA Champ The University of Washington's Izaic Yorks ran a mile in 3:53, setting a new mark for an American collegian. But loyalty to his team means he won't be running the mile at this weekend's championship.
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Why Fastest U.S. College Mile Runner Won't Be Vying To Be NCAA Champ

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Why Fastest U.S. College Mile Runner Won't Be Vying To Be NCAA Champ

Why Fastest U.S. College Mile Runner Won't Be Vying To Be NCAA Champ

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Now we're going to tell you the story of two races. One's a historic race a week ago. Izaic Yorks of the University of Washington set a new mark for the fastest college mile by an American.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

And the other is a race he is not going to run, the mile at this weekend's NCAA championship.

SHAPIRO: Let's start just over a week ago at the regional track meet at the University of Washington. Alex Lore (ph) and Cody Barton of the website FloTrack have the call.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: So we're dialed in here, and it looks hot up front if you ask me.

MCEVERS: More than a dozen runners have set off in a blazing pace in the mile. The pack is led by one of Yorks' teammates who hopes to set Yorks up for a fast finish.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: But keep an eye on the prize here. Again, you need to run about 3:50 - oh, man. It's so close.

SHAPIRO: As they head into the final lap, the pace is too much for most of the runners. Izaic Yorks and Stanford's lanky Sean McGorty pull away.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Oh, man, oh, man. They're getting fired up here. We got less than 400-meters to go. Yorks and McGorty - 3:10. Let's see what we got, boys.

MCEVERS: McGorty tries to pass, Yorks stays just ahead.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Three-forty-three into the home stretch. They got to go, got to go, guys, got to go. McGorty, Yorks elbow to elbow - they're on their toes. They're all out. We're at 3:52 right now. They're going to NCAA.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Oh, no way. Uh-oh, no way - 3:53.

SHAPIRO: Three minutes, 53 seconds - Yorks has won, fastest college mile ever by an American, and it qualifies him for the Olympic trials this summer.

MCEVERS: All right. So now here's the head-scratcher. Why is Yorks not running in the mile at this weekend's NCAA championships in Birmingham, Ala.? Well, he had to make a decision- run that mile alone or run with his team in the Distance Medley Relay or DMR.

SHAPIRO: Yorks and his coach, Greg Metcalfe, recall having to make that tough decision.

GREG METCALFE: You know, there comes a point when, you know, Izaic runs 3:53, and then we're having a conversation with our staff and with Izaic about what is the best thing to do.

IZAIC YORKS: Metcalfe pulls me aside, and he goes, well, what do you think about doing the mile? And I was just - no way. I want to do the DMR. That's what I told these guys what I would do, and I'm going to stick to that word.

METCALFE: And it's just, you know, I'm sitting in my office on Sunday making our declarations, and here I hit the scratch button next to Izaic's name, next to 3:53. I think, am I the biggest idiot of all time?

MCEVERS: Maybe, but in a sport that so often celebrates individual glory, Izaic Yorks is not only very, very fast. He's very loyal.

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