Connor Burns Breaks National High School 5,000-Meter Record


Depending on when you started running, you might have more or less interest in the top running times and running records for high schoolers.

If you grew up running cross country or track in school, following the record progression of high school runners can be nothing short of awe-inspiring, as some young runners are posting incredible race performances as adolescents and then go on to have impressive collegiate and post-collegiate professional running careers.

For those who have been tracking the top runners for some time, the name Galen Rupp likely rings a bell.

Galen Rupp was a standout high school runner who went on to run in the competed in the Summer Olympics in 2008 in Beijing, the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and the 2020 (2021) Olympics in Tokyo. 

Rupp won the silver medal in the 10,000 m at the London Olympics and the bronze medal in the marathon at the 2016 Olympics.

He went to the University of Oregon, which has consistently had one of the top running programs in the country, and also ran under now-controversial coach Alberto Salazar with the Nike Oregon Project. 

He also won the Chicago marathon outright, beating the entire field, and won the 2020 USA men’s Olympic trials marathon.

In a nutshell, Galen Rupp has had an incredible running career.

Until this week, Galen Rupp also still held the American high school 5,000-meter record.

However, Connor Burns, a senior at Southern Boone County High School in Missouri broke Rupp’s long-standing national 5,000 m high school record on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Track Fest in Walnut, California.


Connor Burns ran a blazing 13:37.30 5k on the track, beating Rupp’s 5,000-meter high school record of 13:37.91 by just over half a second.

Burns Put his leg speed to the test, running his final lap of the 5000 m race in just 61 seconds (4:04 pace) to sneak in just under Rupp’s time and take the new American high school 5k record.

Following in Rupp’s footsteps some 20 years later, high school senior Connor Burns will attend the University of Oregon next year.

Burns isn’t new to speedy performances on the track. He has already broken the 4-minute mile barrier twice (once, just this past February 2023, as well as last June 2022).

In fact, Burns has made it clear that he is coming for the national high school mile record as well, and intends to focus on this for the remainder of the spring outdoor track season.

In an interview with RunnerSpace, Burn’s said. “That’s the cool thing about track. There’s always more than one national record to break. So now, eyes on the mile in a month to see if I can get that one too.”

Burns’ current mile PR is 3:58.83, a time he set last June at the HOKA Festival of Miles.

Burns will have to really push himself to beat the current boys’ high school mile record, which currently stands at 3:53.43.

However, despite the 5-second gap, it would be foolish to count Burns out of contention given his level of fitness and ability to handle himself well consistently in competition.

The current American high school mile record of 3:53.43 was set in 2001 by the legendary Alan Webb, the first high school runner to break four minutes in the mile.

Whether or not Burns can successfully overtake Alan Webb’s national high school mile record, we have full confidence that this young man is going to continue to make a lasting mark on the running scene in his collegiate and post-collegiate running career.

His future looks bright, and we can’t wait to see what records he takes down and how his running career involves over the next several years.

You can follow high school runner and record-setter Connor Burns on his Instagram here.

If you have young runners in your family who are interested in getting into the sport, check out our couch-to-5k training plan for kids here

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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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