Mikey Branningan, a 19-year-old middle distance runner with Autism, won gold in the men’s 1,500-meters in the T20 classification (athletes with intellectual impairment) at the 2016 Paralympic Games.
Brannigan took the victory wire-to-wire and crossed the finish line in 3:51.73 to win by five seconds.
Brannigan was named the February 2015 SI High School Athlete of the Month when he was a rising star on the U.S. high school track and field scene. Since graduating from Northport High School (Long Island, N.Y.),
Brannigan has continued running and turned professional with the New York Athletic Club as several colleges were interested but testing scores posed a challenge. He entered Tuesday’s race as a heavy favorite having won the 2015 Paralympic World Championships in the event and he holds the world record in with his 3:48.85 personal best set in April.
Last month, he broke the four-minute barrier for the mile as he ran 3:57 at the Sir Walter Miler meet in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Brannigan has repeatedly said that his dream is to compete in the Olympics.