Florida fans knew they’d be seeing more than four years of collegiate racing from Atlantic’s Sean Jefferson following his record setting senior season. In 2001, Sean capped off his high school career by blowing away the 4a 3200m field and smashing his own state meet record by 14 seconds in a time of 8:59.03.
Sean and his twin brother John continued their record setting ways at Indiana University when they became the first twins in NCAA history to run sub-4:00 miles in the same race. Sean’s 3:56.44 took down Olympian Jim Spivey’s 1982 IU record and set him up for a post collegiate career.
Sean is now in Eugene training for the Oregon Track Club in preparation for the Olympic Trials 1500m. The Oregon Track Club is a Nike project dedicated to turning America’s most talented distance runners into 2008 Olympians. Sean is currently being trained by the legendary Georgetown coach, Frank Gagliano. In Gagliano’s 18 years at Georgetown he won 23 Big East Conference Championships, 13 IC4A Championships and was twice named NCAA Coach of the Year. Gagliano has also coached nine athletes to the Olympic Games. Set up with the most advanced training, equipment, facilities and coaching, Sean will be more than ready for the Eugene Trials, which kickoff at Hayward Field on June 27, 2008.
Regardless of how the trials go, Sean expects to continue his professional career as a runner for years.
“In the next few years I want to keep working hard and enjoying my running,” Jefferson said.
“I want to stay healthy and train at a high level competing against the best athletes in the world.”
Sean has come a long way from his days at Atlantic High School. In his final high school season he generally logged between 40 and 50 miles a week, which was a jump from his first three high school years. During his freshman year at IU he kept the volume around 70-75 miles per week but gradually built up to a senior year where he was peaking at around 90 miles a week.
Over the years Sean has overcome numerous obstacles to become a professional runner.
“The biggest obstacle I've had to deal with is injuries,” Sean said. I was pretty much injury free until my senior year of college and since then I have been dealing with minor injuries that keep interfering with my training.”
When he’s not training, or recovering from training, Sean works 4-5 hours a week at the University of Oregon tutoring center for student athletes so he doesn’t get bored. As far as the future goes, Sean isn’t looking that far ahead.
“Running right now, that is my main focus. When my career is over I will figure out the rest.”