Friday, July 26, 2013

Sonia O'Sullivan's Last Lap

Today is the 17th anniversary of Sonia O'Sullivan's Olympic Record (15:15.80) set in the semi-final of the 5000 meters at the Atlanta Olympics.  On this day it is worth remembering this fine Villanova athlete -- without dispute the greatest female runner in Villanova track and field history.  Sonia O'Sullivan competed for Ireland in four Olympic Games (1992 Barcelona, 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens), winning a silver medal over 5000 meters in 2000. She was twice the World Champion in Cross Country, performing the rare long- and short-course double in Marrakesh in 1998. Sonia was also a World Champion on the track, winning the 5000 meters in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1995 (as well as a world championships silver over 1500 meters in 1993 in Stuttgart). She was a three-time European Champion over 3000 (1994), 5000 (1998), and 10,000 (1998) meters, and won European silver two additional times. She was runner-up over 3000 meters at the 1997 World Indoor Championships. At Villanova, Sonia was a 5-time NCAA individual national champion.  She won two NCAA cross country individual titles (1991 and 1992), two 3000 meter NCAA crowns (1990i, 1990), and the 5000i meter title in 1991. She set world records over 2000 and 5000i meters.

 2x World Cross Country Champion
World Champion at 5000 meters
Olympic Silver Medalist at 5000 meters
World Championships Silver Medalist at 1500 meters
4x Olympian (1992, 1996, 2000, 2004)
3x European Champion
3x World Record Holder
5x NCAA Individual Champion
16x International Medalist
Irish National Records over 10 distances
6x Penn Relays Champion
10x Big East Champion

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