Now Jonah Gorevic is eyeing the under-11 world record of 4:55.
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NEW YORK—After running his first race at Icahn Stadium two months ago, Jonah Gorevic set his sights on doing something no boy his age had ever done before.
On Saturday, the 10-year-old from Rye, N.Y. achieved his goal, running remarkably even splits to take down the mile world record in his age group, winning the youth boys race in an astounding 5:01.55 at the adidas Grand Prix on Randall’s Island.
The previous mark of 5:05.3 was set last year by Nehemiah Skandera of Santa Rosa, Calif. Prior to that, the fastest mile ever run by a boy aged 10 or younger was 5:06.5 by John Lawton in 1980.
“I knew the world record was 5:05 and I wanted to break that number,” Gorevic said, clutching his bouquet of flowers for winning the race. “I started chasing it at the first Icahn Stadium meet that I went to, which was on April 13. I got 5:09 and I was told that the world record was 5:05, so for two months and one day I have been chasing it.”
Gorevic exploded right from the start, covering the opening lap in 71.5 seconds, faster than the 73 split his coach had targeted. From there, he battled a stiff headwind on the backstretch to splits of 77 and 78 on the next two laps before closing in 73.
“I set a PR for the 400m in my first lap,” Gorevic said. “After doing that I figured I could go after the record. Getting it feels awesome. I had a big cheering section, all my friends, my babysitter even, my family. It was just so cool.”
Gorevic’s performance drew high praise on Twitter from Olympian Bernard Lagat, who tweeted “Wow! I want to be like Jonah Gorevic when I grow up :) He just set a new WR for the 10-year-old Mile- 5:01.55. Way to go boy :) #agpnyc”
Gorevic, who is wrapping up fifth grade at F.E. Bellows school, said he started running when he was 4 years old, offering the caveat that the mile “was only in a Turkey Trot so it wasn’t that competitive.” He began training and running proper track sessions three years later.
Gorevic first made his first splash in cross country.
“The first cross country meet that we ran in Van Cortlandt Park, I knew that his training was pretty good,” said Carl Curran, Gorevic’s coach at the Westchester County-based Tailwind Track Club. ” He didn’t really know the trails so I asked if there would be a rabbit and someone said, ‘Don’t worry, this (other) kid knows the course. He was the winner last year.’ I said, ‘Well, we might have something to surprise you all with.’ He beat that kid by 20 seconds.”
Curran said that Gorevic does not train full-time as a runner. Since he also plays youth soccer, he works out with the Tailwind TC twice a week, doing a hard interval workout on Thursday nights and an easy trail run on the weekend. His weekly mileage, according to Curran, ranges between 10 and 12.
“During the race, I was thinking the 71.5 was out a little too fast,” Curran said. “We were hoping for about a 73. He maintained his middle two laps, which were the really tough ones, but he brought it home in a 73. He had an amazing race.
“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. As you saw, his splits were pretty even. He has to work on middle two, but will always bring it home strong.”
Gorevic, who one day wants to compete in the IAAF World Youth Championships, said the race was likely his last of the summer. He plans to take a break before returning to training in the fall.
“Sometimes all this racing stuff gets a little tiring so I could use a little rest,” Gorevic, who is now eyeing the under-11 world record of 4:55, said. “I have camp for four weeks and some other stuff so that is a big enough break for me. I probably won’t race again until September for cross-country and 3000s. I’m trying to do well in those, but after the break I might have to train up a little bit.”