Sep 3, 2014, 9:20 AM EST
Mike Brannigan can run a mile in 4 minutes, 7 seconds. The elite high school runner has heard from more than 200 colleges. He dreams of competing in the Olympics.
“That would be pretty awesome,” Brannigan told “NBC Nightly News.” “Put that in the books of history.”
Brannigan, 17, breaks free from the pack running as a senior for Northport (N.Y.) High School on Long Island. He’s also separated by autism, which he was diagnosed with at 18 months old.
He’s been a runner just as long.
“He just stood up as a baby and started running,” his mom, Edie, told “NBC Nightly News.” “He would run into the walls. He would fall and not put his hands down and smash his head.”
But Brannigan’s path to college — he listed distance-running powerhouses Colorado and Oregon among the 200 schools — faces academic obstacles.
He has a more than adequate grade-point average of 3.3, according to Runner’s World, but he might not be able to handle taking standardized tests, according to “NBC Nightly News.”
“Mikey’s dream is to go to a Division One school and succeed there academically and run against the best college runners in the country,” his mom said. “That’s his dream. And we want to support him in that dream. But with the NCAA academic requirements, educational requirements, we don’t know if it’s possible.”
- Tori Bowie ‘going after medals’ after breakthrough season 0
- Yohan Blake details ‘dreams’ for 2015 0
- South Korean Olympic swim champ Park Tae-hwan fails drug test 1
- Jason Brown wins first U.S. figure skating title 2
- Lindsey Vonn wins final race before World Championships (video) 0
- Ashley Wagner shatters records for third U.S. figure skating title 3
- Chloe Kim wins Winter X Games halfpipe at age 14 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)