They call it the Dream Mile.
For Northport High School's Mike Brannigan, it was both a dream and reality.
Brannigan ran a personal best of 4 minutes, 3.18 seconds but finished third in the prestigious race Saturday as part of the adidas Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium on Randalls Island.
Winner Grant Fisher of Grand Blanc, Michigan -- one of only seven high school athletes to have run a sub- 4-minute mile -- defended his title in the national high school event, finishing in 4:01.73. Andrew Hunter of Loudoun Valley, Virginia, finished second in 4:02.36.
"I thought I had a shot to beat Grant," Brannigan said. "He had an amazing kick with 150 meters to go. I was trying to cover that move he made and ride on his shoulder the whole way."
Brannigan got out quickly in the first quarter-mile, finishing his first lap just behind Fisher.
He was able to stay with the pack of leaders until the end when Fisher and Hunter began to pull away in the final stretch.
Northport coach Jason Strom, who was in Albany with his team for the state track meet Saturday, said by phone that Brannigan had decided before the season to prepare and run the Dream Mile, even though it conflicted with the state event.
The senior has another big race on his schedule. He's entered in the 2-mile run in next Saturday's Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle.
"As the races get bigger and there's more pressure, he responds and gets excited and really enjoys it," Strom said. "It's unlike any other athlete I've seen in those situations."
That's why when the season began, he knew he wanted to challenge himself against the best in the country this weekend.
"I was peaking for this -- it's Icahn Stadium," Brannigan said. "And I think I did."