Sunday, August 25, 2013

On this Day in 1985
Sydney Maree sets USA National Record that Lasts 21 Years

On this day in 1985 in Cologne, Germany former Villanova great Sydney Maree set a new USA National Record over 1500 meters, running 3:29.77. His AR would stand for 21 years until it was broken in 2006 by Bernard Lagat. At the time of his 1985 record, Maree was a former world record holder at that distance (3:31.24, also set in Cologne, on August 28, 1983, when he broke the record of Steve Ovett). A month earlier in 1985, Maree had established the USA National Record over 5000 meters, when he ran 13:01.15 -- at the time the third fastest time in history by any man -- in Oslo on July 27. In all, Maree set American records over four distances: 1500, 2000, 3000, and 5000 meters. While running for Villanova, Maree was a three-time NCAA individual champion: over 1500 meters (1980 and 1981) and 5000 meters (1979). He anchored two NCAA championship DMR squads (1980, 1981), and was a 7-time Penn Relays champion. He was 5th in the 5000 at the 1988 Olympic Games.

By standard measure (the stopwatch) Sydney Maree is the greatest male runner in the illustrious history of the Villanova program. His accomplishments are the stuff of legend: a world record over 1500 meters (3:31.24 in August 1983), American Records at 1500 meters (3:29.77 in 1985), 2000 meters (4:54.20 in 1985), 3000 meters (7:33.37 in 1984), and 5000 meters (13:01.15 in 1985). In 1981 he won the first 5th Avenue Mile in 3:47.52; to this day over 30 years later it's the fastest 5th Avenue Mile ever run.  His mile PR (3:48.83) is faster than those of Eamonn Coghlan and Marcus O'Sullivan.  Same for the 1500. He won multiple NCAA championships over 1500 and 5000 meters. We was an All-American in cross country. In 1981 he was the first Black to receive the South African Athlete of the Year award.

Here are the results from the 1985 race, in which Maree crushed two Olympic medalists (Abascal and Boit).

1985 Cologne 1500 meters
1.  Sydney Maree           USA     3:29.77   USA NR
2.  Jose Manuel Abascal    ESP     3:32.73
3.  Omer Khalifa           SUD     3:35.67
4.  Vincent Rousseau       BEL     3:36.38
5.  Mike Boit              KEN     3:36.55
6.  Michael Hillardt       AUS     3:36.93
7.  Pierre Deleze          FRA     3:37.46
8.  Peter Wirz             SUI     3:37.83
9.  Pat Scammell           AUS     3:37.96

No comments:

Post a Comment