ANN ARBOR, Mich – Only 12 high school athletes have broken the four-minute barrier for the indoor mile run record. But, on Sunday, Ann Arbor high school student Hobbs Kessler finished the run with 3:57.66 at the American Track League -- a new national prep record.
A student at Skyline High School, Hobbs beat the previous record of 3:57.81 set by Drew Hunter in 2016, according to the USA Track & Field.
“I never considered myself up there with them,” Hobbs said. “I’m not there. I think it’s going to take a few more big performances before I can wrap my head around it.
“I enjoy running, but that’s just the icing on the cake,” Hobbs added. “What I really like is the team and my community. So it’s just hanging out with my friends and doing something I really like.”
Hobbs’ first love in sports is rock climbing. Two years ago, he competed in the Youth World Climbing Championships in Europe’s Alps mountain range.
“We got to go to Italy, go all over Europe and see some of the best climbers. It was a super cool trip and one of the highlights of my climbing,” he said.
On Sunday, Hobbs shared the track with two-time Olympian Nick Willis from New Zealand.
“I was really star struck to see all of those guys and kind of a disaster before the race, super nervous,” he said. “As soon as the gun goes off in a race, all that is going on in the world is the race. Nothing else is happening for me. I can’t hear the music playing, I can’t hear my coaches yelling at me. It’s just me and what’s going on.”
Next year, Hobbs heads to college and a NCAA competition. Additionally, the next summer Olympics is four years away.
“I definitely think about it, but I’m not too concerned,” Hobbs said. “Right now I’m just focusing on my next workout and what I’ve got to do. And that stuff will happen when it happens, and I’ll be ready.”