Henry Wynne takes the crown in the NCAA Championship Mile


Ben Foster '16

On March 12, Staples alumnus and current junior at the University of Virginia, Henry Wynne ’13, won his first NCAA title in the mile at the Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships in Birmingham, Alabama.

Just after breaking the four minute barrier in the mile at the Terrier Invitational on Jan. 30, 2016, Wynne added another milestone to his repertoire with the national win.

Looking back at the race, Henry had a very good idea of how the race would pan out and executed accordingly.

“I just wanted to stay out of the mix in the back of the pack, so I stayed up front. I figured someone would try to make a big move around 800 meters to go, and that’s what happened. Then I just stuck on the guy who passed me and kicked hard as heck with 200 meters to go,” Henry said.

Wynne has some familiarity with national titles. Although this is his first one at the collegiate level, as a Staples Wrecker, Wynne took home three national titles.

Former Staples distance coach, Malcolm Watson, had a first hand account of the development of the future national champion. “It was obvious what a rare talent Henry had from the moment I met him. I called him a century kid — the type of athlete that only comes through Staples every 100 years,” Watson said, “both in his raw athleticism and his mental toughness in training and races.”

As Wynne crossed through the finish line of the mile, his family scrambled to find the results and race coverage after a miscommunication.

“We didn’t watch the race because I thought it was at 6:30 p.m., but it was actually at 5:30 p.m. and now my family can’t seem to find a video of it,” Wynne’s sister, Grace Wynne ’17, said. “My mom was just looking through Facebook and saw a post on Henry’s wall like “nbd he just won it all” and we were so confused. Then my dad called us and told us he won.”

Although she wasn’t able to watch him run, Grace is happy for her brother in view of the fact that this has been his goal ever since he started running in college.

“It just felt unreal. I was overcome with emotion and in disbelief,” Henry said. “I knew there were guys chasing me down, so I was just very relieved to have won.”