RAPID CITY, S.D. - The state track and field championships are set to kick off on Thursday, May 25 in Sioux Falls.
That means Simeon Birnbaum, a senior at Rapid City Stevens, will soon finish one of the most accomplished high school running careers of all time.
Not only in South Dakota, but on a national level, as well.
Why are you so passionate about running?
"There's a huge thrill to it," said Simeon Birnbaum. "There's really nothing like like surpassing all expectations you set for yourself and other people set for you. It's really like it's all up to you. I mean, I mean, besides, like, coach, the people that support you when it comes down to a race, I mean, you're the only one responsible for how you perform."
What was it like to win the Brooks PR in Seattle and run a mile under four minutes?
"I don't think anyone expected me to break four to win the Brooks PR," said Birnbaum. "I mean, that's totally fair. I had the worst seeded time and I only had I only had one good race before that when I won Arcadia, like on a national level. So I don't like blame them for doubting me. And I can't even say I fully believed in myself."
This fall, you plan to continue your athletic career at the University of Oregon. But where do you see yourself in the next five years?
"Kind of like the biggest stage for runners right now is the Olympics," said Birnbaum. "So if I can make a team. Obviously Paris is coming up, so that would be really cool. But I think being in contention for a medal at L.A. in 2028, it being in the U.S., it's pretty special opportunity to have Olympics in your home country like almost never happens for athletes."
What has Simeon Birnbaum meant for the cross country and track programs at Rapid City Stevens?
"You'll always see his names on the record board here at Stevens," said Stevens assistant track coach Jesse Coy. "But also like national. You know he's got a 3200 federation record in the U.S. and as a sub four miler. So he's just one of the names that will always go down in like U.S. distance running history, you know, as one of the best high school runners ever."