You can help fund NSAF alum Mike Brannigan and teammates for the Virtus World XC Championships

by Steve Underwood

Over the past decade, Mike Brannigan has made history with his distance running achievements, from NSAF national titles and records while in high school to sub-4:00 miles and Paralympic Games and World Championship medals in the years since.

Now the NSAF is partnering with Mike, his coach Sonja Robinson and his USA teammates to help them raise funds to be able to participate in the Virtus World Cross Country Championships, Nov. 16-20, at Mission Bay Park in San Diego.

Please donate HERE to make it possible for these athletes to compete and continue to achieve their dreams:

Team members, their coaches and families receive no travel and accommodations funding through the USOPC for these championships.

Mike is part of the 7-member U.S. team selected to compete in these unique championships, the first to be held in the United States. His six teammates include:

  • Adam Angelone – Madison, NJ
  • Benjamin Bluemond – Geneva, IL
  • Kaitlyn Bounds – Russellville, AR- World Championship Finalist, 4x National Champion, American Record Holder 800, 1500, 5K
  • Ishaan Iyer – Danville, CA
  • Kenneth Noguchi – Redondo Beach, CA
  • Tas Sebestyen – Yorba Linda, CA
  • Tyler Wigington – Madison, WI

Mike’s amazing high school career at Northport H.S. in New York included the 2014 NSAF Outdoor Nationals (NBNO) 2M title in 8:53.59 – where he led a history-making trio of Northport runners under 9:00 – plus a runner-up finish in the NSAF Indoor Nationals (NBNI) 5,000m the following winter.  He also anchored Northport’s club to the 4x1 Mile outdoor title in 2014 (17:21.16) after they had set an unofficial HS national record earlier in the spring (17:06.92).

As a Paralympian, Mike’s resume is exemplary. He was the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games T20 1,500m gold medalist, then took 4th in the same event in the 2020 Games in Tokyo (actually 2021).  He’s a 5-time medalist at the Paralympic World Championships, including the 2015 gold in the 1,500 and a gold-medal double in the 2017 800m and 1,500m. In 2016, Mike became the first Paralympic ambulatory athlete to break the four-minute mile barrier with his 3:57.58 at the Sir Walter Raleigh Mile in N.C.

Mike, the son of Kevin and Edie Brannigan and now 25, was diagnosed with Autism at age three. Since his high school career, he has been a member of the New York Athletic Club and attended Suffolk County Community College. Ms. Robinson, a former track athlete, club coach and USATF administrator, has coached Mike since 2015. She has also been his teacher, manager, personal chef and his advocate – finding and creating opportunities for success that the Brannigan family might not have otherwise known about. Edie Brannigan, Mike’s mother, gives Coach Robinson tremendous credit in this 2017 story on by Doug Binder.

The World XC Championships meet is sanctioned by Virtus: World Intellectual Impairment Sport, organized by Everything Running & Athletes Without Limits and directed by NSAF Advisory Board member Tracy Sundlun. It consists of a two-day format with Short Course (2k women/4k men) and Long Course (6K women/8k men) races. Athletes will stay at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.

Photo courtesy of Cheryl Treworgy


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