Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Finish Line -- part 3

The initial picture to the left is that of Eamonn Coghlan on the cover of the July 9, 1979 issue of Sports Illustrated. On June 30 in Philadelphia he had covered the mile in 3:52.88 and in the process beat Steve Scott (3:53.4), Craig Masback (3:54.7 PR), Olympic 1500 gold medalist and WR holder John Walker (3:55), as well as Rod Dixon, Don Paige, and Paul Cummings. At the time it was Coghlan's outdoor mile PR, a mark he later lowered to 3:51.59 in July 1983 in Olso. Coghlan's indoor mile record of 3:49.78, a world record set in February 1983, stood for exactly 14 years before being broken by the legendary Hicham El Guerrouj on February 27, 1997. To this day, only Coghlan an and El Guerrouj have gone under 3:50 for the indoor mile.

The picture to the right is that of Nnenna Lynch winning the 1997 USA World Cross Country trials in 20:17. In doing so she bested Amy Rudolph (20:21), Gwen Coogan (20:27), Elva Dryer (20:33), and Deena Drossin (later Kastor) 20:45, among others.

Finally, one of the most famous Villanova finish line photos ever: Marty Liquori beating Jim Ryun in the 1971 Dream Mile. It was one of the most anticipated races in US history and was covered live on ABC's Wide World of Sports with Jim McKay and color analysis by Jim Beatty. Oddly enough for a race of that distance, the race started with a false start and required a second gun.

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