Henry Wynne Won!

On Friday, “06880” previewed Henry Wynne’s attempt to break the world 4×1 mile relay. The former Staples High School and University of Virginia track star now runs for the  professional Brooks Beast track club.

The race was yesterday, in New York. Many Westporters were on hand to watch Wynne and his teammates not only beat, but absolutely demolish, the world mark. Peter Gambaccini — also a former Wrecker runner, now a noted track journalist — reports:

Westporter Henry Wynne and 3 Brooks Beast track club teammates traveled 3,000 miles and fulfilled their mission by shattering the world record for the 4×1 mile relay by almost 9 seconds on Saturday, clocking a 16:03.68 at the Dr. Norbert Sander Invitational at the Armory Track & Field Center in New York. The quartet broke the old record of 16:12.81 set 2 years ago by the Hoka One One NJ/NY Track Club.

“Winning this race and not getting the record wouldn’t have meant nearly as much,” said Wynne, who established a Connecticut high school mark of 4:05.04 for the mile while at Staples, and has since gotten down to 3:55.23 as a pro with the Seattle-based Brooks team. Wynne ran a 4:02 for the second leg of the relay and gave the Beasts a slight lead in what remained a tight race with the Hoka foursome, before anchorman Izaic Yorks pulled away to give his team a victory by more than 12 seconds.

An extremely animated Wynne bounced up and down on the track, shouting and gesticulating with his arms as he exhorted his last two teammates through  the efforts that gave Brooks the triumph and a world best time. At the end, there were plenty of hugs. Brooks Beast coach Danny Mackey’s observation that “Henry’s a team guy” seemed like an understatement.

Henry Wynne and his father, after the race. (Photo/Jeff Mitchel)

“This is just a starting point for what we want to accomplish,” said Wynne. Indeed, he and his 3 relay partners have all broken 4:00 for the mile, and Mackey had declared before the race that the foursome might go under 16:00. With the confidence Saturday’s race brings, that could well be achieved if the team returns to the Armory in 2020.

Wynne, who had a sizable and demonstrative personal cheering section on Saturday, attended the University of Virginia after his Staples years and was the NCAA Indoor mile champion in 2016. In his senior year, his athletic life was undone by a bout of pneumonia and knee surgery.

Mackey couldn’t really know what Wynne’s post-surgery prognosis would be, but was drawn to his personality and believed he’d be “a good fit” for the Brooks Beasts. “He gets the details. Right away, he bought into everyone on the team.”

In 2018, Wynne set career bests for 800 and 5000 meters and the mile. “I owe him a debt of gratitude,” he said of Mackey. “He believed in me when a lot of others didn’t.”

Healthy and again making progress, Henry Wynne can continue paying that debt with his next race: an individual mile at the University of Washington in Seattle in 2 weeks.

9 responses to “Henry Wynne Won!

  1. Tom Feeley Sr

    WOW‼️that’s FAST🔥

  2. Congrats to Henry. After Dan’s first story, I had online correspondence with a couple of Staples classmates wondering about the greatest sports achievement by a Staples alum.

    Between his having won an NCAA championship in the indoor mile and now being part of a world-record 4 x 1 mile relay, I think Henry tops the list. And, in saying this, I am not minimizing the terrific accomplishments of fellow Staples soccer alum Kyle Martino, who was MLS Rookie of the Year and a member of the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team.

    • Peter Gambaccini

      Henry is certainly the top one in track and field. Before him, it would have been Steve Wheeler ’70, who’d become the first person from Connecticut to run a sub-4:00 mile. I’m pretty sure Staples is the only Connecticut high school to produce two sub-4:00 milers.


  4. Congratulations Henry and teammates. I like that Henry’s mother recognized Laddie Lawerence for his coaching and influence on Henry’s career.

  5. Richard Fogel

    congrats,now Henry,please RUN for president.

  6. Steve Wheeler

    Congratulations to Henry Wynne and his teammates. That’s some fantastic, fast running! Maybe 15:59 on the horizon?

    • “06880” readers: This is not just any random guy sending congrats! Steve Wheeler (Staples High School Class of 1970) was the first person from Connecticut to run a sub-4:00 mile. He had an outstanding track career at Duke University. You can read all about Steve here: https://06880danwoog.com/2014/07/26/steve-wheelers-40-year-old-4-minute-mile/

      • I don’t remember having seen the original post (but just read about Steve’s historic run in 1974). To try to put this in perspective, in 1974 when my college soccer team did a timed mile in the preseason, our fastest runner finished at 5:02 or 5:03. And there were definitely players on my team who had a combination of excellent speed and stamina, Yet the fastest one had a time that was more than one minute slower than Steve (and obviously Henry too).