Mikey Brannigan of Newport, N.Y. will represent the New York Athletic Club in Sunday's 5th Avenue Mile.
Brannigan, who was diagnosed with Autism when he was 18 months old, was Sports Illustrated's High School Athlete of the Month for February. Brannigan graduated from Northport High School in June. He will attend a community college this fall while continuing to pursue his athletic career as a professional runner with the New York Athletic Club.
Brannigan has spent the last few weeks at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., where he is preparing for the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
He is the favorite for gold after setting a new T20 (the paralympic category designated for athletes with intellectual impairment) 1,500-meter world record of 3:48.85 on the final day of the U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships. He went on to capture gold for 1,500-meters at the Paralympic Pan American Games in Toronto.
Brannigan owns a personal best of 4:03.18 for the mile from his performance at the 2015 Adidas Grand Prix in New York City. Sunday's race will be the first road mile of his career.
The New York Athletic Club includes other elite athletes such as 2014 Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi and triathlon star Gwen Jorgensen.
- Christopher Chavez