Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June 2, 1979: The Don Paige NCAA Double

On this day in Villanova T&F history, Don Paige won the famed 800 / 1500 double at the NCAA championships. There were plenty of stars on view at the NCAA Championships in Champaign, Illinois, but none shone brighter than Villanova junior Don Paige, who on June 2 won the 1500 meters in 3:39.20 over Baylor soph Todd Harbour(3:39.27), then completed an historic double some 35 minutes later by winning the 800 in 1:46.20. Paige won 6 national titles in his Villanova career, and went on to a world #1 ranking in the 800 meters in 1980 (ahead of both Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett). His chance at Olympic glory in 1980 was derailed by the USA olympic boycott.

Also on this date in 1984, Marcus O'Sullivan ran a 3:37.40 in the NCAA 1500 meter finals, coming second to Joaquim Cruz. Cruz led Oregon to the men's team title by winning his 2nd NCAA 800 (June 1) in 1:45.10 over Eastern Michigan's Earl Jones (1:45.79), then coming back the following day to win the 1500 in 3:36.48 over Villanova's Marcus O'Sullivan (3:37.40).

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