Unfortunately, that cover story didn't last long and then the squalid truth came out.
As it turns out, Mark Sanford was originally from Florida, so the Miami Herald printed some background on his life in this state. Born in Fort Lauderdale in 1960, Sanford attended Fort Lauderdale's Westminster Academy, where he ran on the track team "and was state ranked as a short-distance runner," according to the Herald. Well, earlier this month I posted some results of the 1977 Florida high school state track and field championships, and there's Sanford in the 1A boys' 880-yard run.
1. Bobby Wilson (Freeport) 2:02.7
2. Kelly Brown (Mount Dora Bible) 2:05.0
3. Stephen Chester (Tallahassee North Florida Christian) 2:06.2
4. Don Hubbard (St Augustine St Joseph's) 2:07.0
5. Mark Sanford (Fort Lauderdale Westminster) 2:07.6
6. Mark Johnis (Montverde Academy) 2:07.7
The 1977 track season took place at the end of Sanford's junior year at Westminster. Before his senior year the Sanford family moved to the South Carolina lowcountry. I don't know whether he continued to run high school track there, or if he ran at Furman University, where he did his undergraduate studies.
- Results of the FHSAA Boys' Track and Field Championships
- Westminster Academy Boys' Track and Field records progression
http://www.wacad.edu/rez/wastaff/kkey/Boys Records Progression copy.pdf
- My own Appalachian Trail hiking plan