Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Birthday, Marcus O'Sullivan

O'Sullivan anchors 4x1500 at Penn Relays
Today is the 52nd birthday of the great Marcus O'Sullivan. Villanova's head coach since 1998, Marcus rose from modest means in Cork, Ireland to conquer the world. He won three world indoor championships over 1500 meters: in 1987 in Indianapolis, 1989 in Budapest, and 1993 in Toronto; in the 1987 and 1989 wins, he set championship records. He represented Ireland in four Olympic Games (1984, 1988, 1992, and 1996) at both 800 and 1500 meters. He set (or was a part of) three world records: he ran 3:35.4 on February 10, 1989 to set a world indoor mark over 1500 meters. In 1985 he ran the fastest leg of Ireland's still standing 4 x mile world record of 15:49.08. Finally, as a 40-year-old master's runner, Marcus ran the 3000 meters in 8:09.13 on February 26, 2002 at Penn State to set a master's world record at that distance. O'Sullivan won the prestigious Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games five times. While running for Villanova, Marcus won 10 Big East and 4 IC4A titles and 6 Penn Relays Championships of America (see photo  from the 1984 Penn Relays 4 x 1500). He was the NCAA runner-up (to Joachim Cruz) over 1500 meters.

Marcus O'Sullivan finishing his 100th sub-4:00 mile

Marcus has coached eleven Villanova men under the 4:00 mile / 3:42.2 1500 barrier: Adrian Blincoe, Ryan Hayden, Tom Parlapiano, Jason Jabaut, Bobby Curtis, Mike Kerrigan, Matt Gibney, Carl Mackenzie, Sam McEntee, Jordy Williamsz, and Rob Denault. Marcus himself ran 101 sub-4:00 miles in his illustrious career (the third highest total in history).

Off the track, Marcus has earned his MBA degree and a CPA. A testament to the qualities of this man is the fact that long-time American Record holder at 5000 meters Bob Kennedy, who Marcus helped mentor toward the end of his competitive career, named his first son after Marcus.

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