Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

MICDS Product Mann Returns to St. Louis for Shot at 4-Minute Mile

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

MICDS Product Mann Returns to St. Louis for Shot at 4-Minute Mile

Article excerpt

There weren't many college track coaches willing to consider Jordan Mann when he finished a successful but unspectacular high school career at MICDS in 2011.

He was headed for the Ivy League and running figured to take a back seat to academics. Yet, Mann jokes that he still harbors an imaginary rivalry with a track coach in that league after being rejected.

The scrawny kid from St. Louis ended up at Brown as a walk-on and continued to improve. But it wasn't until he was out of college that Mann's career accelerated.

Running professionally, Mann established a personal record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in consecutive meets this month. That came after he broke the four-minute barrier in the mile -- an event that is not his norm -- this year.

"I think a combination of things resulted in my improvement," he said. "Part of it was definitely physical maturation. I was a really small dude, about 5-2 my sophomore year of high school. I started growing a lot and once the man muscles came in, I could handle more mileage and the training."

Mann, 25, will return to St. Louis on Thursday to run in the Festival of Miles pro race at St. Louis University High as he attempts to break four minutes again. He recently ran 3:58.

He runs for the Ocean State Athletic Club and plans to compete through at least the 2020 Olympic Trials.

His focus is on the steeplechase, where he ran 8:35 and 8:34 in California, scratching one second off of his best time in each race. It's a vast improvement over his time at the Ivy League Championships in 2015, when he ran 8:57.

"Those were pretty good races to try to run fast and test yourself against pretty good competition," he said. "It's encouraging and shows the progress I've made. This is a stronger start than I've had to any other year, so it bodes well."

Mann finished at Brown with bachelor's degrees in applied math economics and education history policy. …

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