High school graduation is about marking a milestone.
But for Reed Brown, 18, of Southlake, it was so much more.
The day before his graduation ceremony at Dragon Stadium, he was the only high school runner in a race in St. Louis full of college and professional competitors.
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"A lot of times when you run, you clear your mind. There's no problems, you're just thinking about running," Brown said.
Brown shattered records at Carroll Senior High School.
But his senior year, he set a new goal – running a mile in under four minutes.
"That was pretty much the one goal. I sat down with my coach at the beginning of the year, and that was the goal I wanted to hit," he said.
So at Thursday's race in St. Louis, that's exactly what he set out to do.
"Right before the race I was feeling good on my warmups," he said. "So I thought, 'Why not now? You might as well leave it on the track and see what you can do.'"
But only nine other high school students in the country had ever broken a four-minute mile.
"That last 100 (yards) was the most nervous I've ever been," Brown said.
He kicked it into high gear.
"There was just a great opportunity and the weather was great," he said. "Everything was just right to do it."
And he did, finishing in three minutes, 59.3 seconds – the fourth fastest mile ever recorded for a U.S. high school runner.
He also was the first high school student in Texas to break the four-minute mark.
"I always kept that little hope in my head that a perfect day would come, and it did, and I gave it my all, and it happened. So you never know what can happen to you," he said.
From St. Louis, he raced home, barely in time for graduation.
"Reed, Reed, Reed!" some of his proud friends shouted as they put on their caps and gowns at Carroll Senior High School.
Reed plans on attending Oregon University on a track scholarship and is eyeing the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.