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Bill Bowerman
Mary Decker Slaney
At 14, she weighed 89 pounds, wore pigtails and braces, set her first American record and was affectionately known as “Little Mary Decker.”

Following a heartbreaking Olympics in 1984, the now Mary Slaney persevered in 1985, establishing a world record in the mile and setting five American records, thus becoming the first athlete to hold every American record from 800 meters to 10,000 meters; a range of excellence unparalleled in the history of track and field. She culminated her undefeated season by capturing the IAAF Grand Prix as the top female athlete in the world.


1974 Held three World Records
1,000-meters: 2:26.7
880-yards: 2:02.4
800-meters: 2:01.8
1977 1977 Broke her own 1,000-yard record in 2:23.8
1980 Set four World Records
Mile: 4:21.7
Indoor: 4:17.
1500-meters: 4:00.8 (Indoor)
880-yards: 1:59.7

Set American record of 8:38.73 for the 3,000-meters in her first attempt at that distance

Held world records of 2:26.7 for 1,000-meters, 2:02.4 for 880-yards, and 2:01.8 for 800-meters

1982 Set of six World Records
Mile (2 WR)
1983 Double World Champion in the 1,500-meters & 3,000-meters
1985 Set two World Records
Indoor 2,000-meters: 5:34.2
Outdoor mile: 4:16.7

The only American runner, man or women to hold all American records from 800 to 10,000-meters at the same time

Over a career unmatched by any other runner anywhere: 36 National records and 17 World records

Continues to hold U.S. records for 800-meters, 1,500-meters, 1-mile, 2,000-meters and 3,000-meters

Notable Achievements:

Won international attention in 1973 at the age of 14 with a surprise victory in the 800-meter at a U.S.-U.S.S.R. dual meet

Physical challenges kept her from running competitively for three years, beginning in 1974

Member of 4 Olympic teams

Still training with intentions of competing in the Marathon

Awards and Honors:

Recipient of the Sullivan Award in 1982

Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year in 1983

Named as Jesse Owens Athlete of the Year in 1983

Recipient of the Prefontaine Award

Cover of major magazines: Life, Newsweek,
and Sports Illustrated 4 times



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