INDIANAPOLIS - Three-time NCAA Champion and two-time Olympian Dyrol Burleson has been elected to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, USA Track & Field announced on Thursday.
The five-member class of 2010 will be inducted Saturday, December 4, at the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held in conjunction with USATF's 2010 Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach, Va. Burleson will be joined by Jearl Miles Clark, Roy Cochran, Ralph Craig and journalist James Dunaway.
Burleson was an Olympic finalist in the 1,500 meters in both 1960 and 1964, who twice won the Olympic Trials. Prior to that, he was the NCAA Champion for the Men of Oregon in the 1,500 meters in 1960 and the mile in both 1961 and 1962. He was a member of the 1962 Duck squad that captured the University's first NCAA track and field title.
A five-time Olympic team member and numerous national champion, Clark was one of the greatest combination 400 and 800 meter runners in American track and field history.
The 1948 Olympic Games gold medalist in the 400 meter hurdles, Cochran was a world record holder in the 440 yard hurdles.
One of the most accomplished sprinters in the early days of track and field in the U.S., Craig won the 100 and 200 meter gold medals at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden, and held the world record in the 220 yard straight dash.
As a journalist, Dunaway has covered every summer Olympic Games since 1956 and has written countless articles about the sport and its athletes that have appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times. Dunaway was elected to the Hall of Fame in the Contributors category.
"Induction into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame is the greatest tribute anyone involved with our sport may achieve, and each member of the Class of 2010 richly deserves this honor," said USATF President and Chairman of the Board Stephanie Hightower. "Each of these remarkable individuals have made indelible and unique contributions to our sport, and we all look forward to honoring them as they take their rightful place in the Hall of Fame."
Also elected to the Hall of Fame in 2010 balloting was distance legend and three-time Olympic team member Craig Virgin, who is the only U.S. male athlete ever to win an individual World Cross Country Championships title (1980 & 1981). At his request, Virgin has deferred his induction into the Hall of fame until 2011, when the ceremony will be held in St. Louis, near his current home. The 1976 NCAA Cross Country champion while at the University of Illinois, Virgin set seven U.S. national records in road and track events.
About the National Track & Field Hall of Fame
There are four categories in which individuals may be voted into the Hall of Fame. Those categories are: Modern Athletes, retired less than 25 years; Veteran Athletes, retired more than 25 years; Coaches; and Contributors. Each category has its own selection committee that chooses the finalists from the list of nominations. Members of the selection committees examine the nominations and evaluate their merit based on objective criteria. Elections for Modern and Veteran athletes are held each year. Beginning in 2005, elections for Coaches are held in odd numbered years, with Contributors elections in even numbered years. Hall of Fame inductees, members of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame Board and Committees and members of the media comprise the electorate for the National Track & Field Hall of Fame.
Born: April 27, 1940 in Cottage Grove, Oregon
A two-time Olympic finalist in the men's 1,500 meters (6th in 1960, 5th in 1964), Burleson won that event at the Olympic Trials in both those years. Burleson was a three-time NCAA champion (1960 - 1,500 meters, 1961 - mile, 1962 - mile) at the University of Oregon, who twice held the U.S. outdoor 1,500 meter record (3:41.3 & 3:40.9, 1960) and the U.S. outdoor mile record (3:58.6 in 1960 & 3:57.6 in 1961). In 1965, he set the U.S. indoor 1,500 meter record of 3:42.8, and in 1961 he set the U.S. mile record of 4:03.8. He also held the U.S. 2-mile record when he ran 8:42.5 in 1962, and was a member of the quartet that set the 4xMile world record of 16:09 in 1962. He was in the ranked top 10 in the world at 1,500 meters on seven occasions, and was ranked No. 1 globally in 1961. Burleson was the first runner ever to break the four-minute mile barrier at the University of Oregon's famed Hayward Field.
For more information on USA Track & Field and the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, and for complete bios on all the 2010 inductees, visit: www.usatf.org.
About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track & field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, the World's #1 Track & Field Team, the most-watched events at the Olympics, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport, and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States: www.usatf.org.