Gorman: Seneca Valley's Kolor takes pride in mile
Mike Kolor is accustomed to being measured in meters, so he can't wait until he can run the mile.
“It has an American pride type of thing,” Kolor said. “When people on the street see me, they always ask your mile time. Plus, it's fun. Nothing is more fun than a hard mile with a lot of good competition.”
And nothing is more fun than running the mile at the Penn Relays, one of the nation's biggest track and field events.
Kolor, a senior at Seneca Valley, is one of 17 U.S. milers — and the lone WPIAL runner — selected to race in the mile Friday at the Penn Relays.
To qualify, runners had to break the standard time of 4:20.0. Kolor ran a 4:13.5 at the New Balance indoor national meet at The Armory in New York.
The Penn Relays tends to draw more than 100,000 spectators, so Kolor knows there will be pressure to race against the nation's top runners before the biggest crowd of his career.
“It's really exciting,” Kolor said. “It's going to be one of the biggest races I've run in my whole high school career. There's a big crowd, so that'll get my blood pumping. I'm sure I'll be nervous at the starting line.”
Kolor is focused on the finish line after taking second to Central Catholic's Jeff Van Kooten in the WPIAL Class AAA 1,600-meter run last year, despite breaking the meet record (4:11.2).
Even more impressive is the Harvard-bound Kolor's 5.64 grade-point average and status as Seneca Valley's valedictorian.
Kolor, who won the 1,600 at the Butler Invitational last Friday in 4:15, hopes his best is to come.
“Golds have been hard to come by in my career,” Kolor said. “I'm hoping this season is my turning point.”