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DISTANCE RUNNING HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES NOMINEES FOR INDUCTION

March 14, 2003 (Utica, New York) -- The National Distance Running Hall of Fame’s Advisory Board announced today its list of the eight nominees for induction as members of the Hall’s Class of 2003. Three of the eight nominees will be inducted during the internationally acclaimed Hall of Fame Weekend in Utica, New York, July 12-13.

The eight nominees for induction into the Hall of Fame are:

Gerry Lindgren, the original teenage distance running phenomenon, obliterated almost every high school distance running mark on the books and eventually set the world record for the six-mile. In 1964, his 10,000-meter victory over two seasoned veterans in the U.S./U.S.S.R. meet was a signal of what Americans could achieve in longer races. Some of his records still stand nearly four decades after they were set;

George Young, the only U.S. runner to compete in four different Olympiads, captured a bronze medal in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the ’68 Olympics. Retired as Athletic Director and from an illustrious coaching career, guiding Central Arizona College to 14 championships in seven sports, including national championship for the cross-country team in 1988;

Jim Ryun, at age 19, broke the world record for the mile, inspiring generations. Three-time U.S. Olympian in the 1,500 meters and world record holder in five events. As the first prep miler to break four minutes, won three state mile run titles – the last a national record that still stands;

Mary Slaney, exhibited world champion talent at age 14. Won international attention in 1973 with a surprise victory in the 800-meters at the U.S./U.S.S.R. meet. Despite physical problems that kept her from running competitively until 1978, amazingly set 11 world records throughout her career. Continues to hold several U.S. records;

Fred Wilt, held a full time job with the FBI, while pursuing an amazing career in the sport of distance running as both a runner and an author of several books on running. As a member of two Olympic teams, won 10 national championships and set five national records in events from 3,000 meters to 10,000 meters, breaking an 18 year old American 5,000 meter record and setting the indoor 2 mile world record with only two men having since run faster;

Buddy Edelin, born in Kentucky and raised in Minnesota, did his best running while living in England and is the first American to break the 2:20 barrier. Over a 50 year period, was the only American to hold the world best in the marathon. Winner of the ’64 Olympic trials marathon by 20 minutes and more than two miles over the second place finisher;

Miki Gorman, two-time winner of both the Boston and New York City Marathons. Three of those wins came after the age of 40, a feat made even more remarkable because she only came into the sport of distance running in her 30s;

Bob Schul, captured the 5,000-meter victory in the 1964 Olympics, becoming one of only five Americans to win a Gold Medal in a distance race in Olympic history. Held five American records and one world record and has had a distinguished coaching career for over 30 years.

According to Distance Running Hall of Fame co-director John R. Petrone II, the eight finalists were chosen after a nine-month nomination and selection process of accepting names and credentials from a variety of sources, including sportswriters from across the nation, broadcasters, track and distance running writers, members of the Hall of Fame, industry sources and distance runners. “There are so many deserving athletes worthy of inclusion into the Hall and it is always a very difficult selection to make each year. We received 27 nominees this year, all of which are outstanding individuals with remarkable accomplishments. Unfortunately there are only eight finalists, which proves the long and thorough process results in difficult decisions. We are certain we have come up with a worthy slate of candidates,” said Mr. Petrone.

The Hall of Fame’s Advisory Board assists the Directors in making the selection for the nominating class. The Advisory Board is comprised of individuals such as Allan Steinfeld, Director of the New York City Marathon; Julia Emmons, Director of the Peachtree Road Race and President of the Atlanta Track Club; Larry Rawson, ESPN Track & Field and Marathon commentator; George Hirsch, Publisher Emeritus of Runner’s World magazine; and Guy Morse, Executive Director of the Boston Athletic Association, among others.

Announcement of the three inductees of the Class of 2003 will take place on Saturday, April 19, 2003 at 9:00 a.m. at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in the Grand Ballroom Foyer, as part of the events surrounding the Boston Athletic Association’s Boston Marathon. As a cooperative partner, the B.A.A. allows the Hall of Fame to announce its new class annually as part of its prestigious event. Selection of the induction class is made by the votes of the Hall of Fame’s Advisory Board, Executive Board and Hall of Fame Members.

The National Distance Running Hall of Fame is located in Utica, New York, along a stretch of the New York State Thruway that could be called “Hall of Fame Corridor.” Established in 1998, it currently has 21 members, including Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter, Alberto Salazar, Grete Waitz, Kathrine Switzer, Joan Benoit Samuelson and the late Steve Prefontaine. The Hall is dedicated to honoring the sport of distance running and the athletes who have made contributions to the sport, from top runners and the most decorated athletes, to those who pushed the sport’s barriers and eventually broke them. The Hall is housed in a three-story brownstone building and honors these athletes’ talents, initiative and drive through the pictures, memorabilia and awards that decorate the exhibit rooms and pull the visitor into the runner’s world, a place often inhabited by the runner alone as she/he challenges the limits of the human spirit. The Hall’s induction is celebrated at an annual ceremony held in conjunction with the Boilermaker Road Race during Hall of Fame Weekend, the second weekend each July, in Utica, New York. The Hall of Fame offers membership opportunities for road races, clubs, organizations and individuals, at a variety of levels.

Contact: Amy R. Hunt, Hall of Fame, 315.724.4525, macenroe@dreamscape.com.

 

 

 


 

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