The Best All-Time Middle Distance Runners

Oregon has a rich tradition of middle distance runners. The university has had Olympians in the 800 and 1,500 meters since the 1960s. The latest representative from Oregon is senior Andrew Wheating who ran in the 2008 Olympics. Last year he won his first NCAA title outdoors although he cramped with 300 meters to go. That was his last race of the season.

At the start of the decade Simon Kimata became one of the top Ducks over 800 meters. He won the 2002 Pac-10 title after finishing fifth at the NCAA indoor meet. Injuries prevented him from running in the 2002 NCAA outdoor meet. He ran 1:46.65 that year and was considered a contender for the NCAA title. Mike McGrath came to Oregon as the top high school 800-meter runner in the country. In 2006 he became the first Duck since Dub Myers in the 1980s to score in both in the 800 and 1,500 meters at the Pac-10 meet. In 2008 he was runner-up to Wheating at the MPSF indoor conference championships.

Top six of the ‘00s (top time, all-time (a-t) UO ranking, indoor, accomplishments, all-American awards, career)

1. Andrew Wheating 1:45.01 #2 UO a-t, 1:47.03i SR, '09 NCAA outdoor champion, 2nd ‘09i and '08 outdoor 2nd 2008 Olympic Trials, 4x a-a '07-Present
2. Simon Kimata 1:46.65 #5 UO a-t, '02 Pac-10 champ, 5th NCAA indoor '01-‘02
3. Mike McGrath 1:49.28 2nd MPSF indoor, 3x Conference scorer, '06-‘08
4. Ross Krempley 1:49.76, 3x Pac-10 scorer '99-‘02
5. Ryan Flaherty 1:49.65, 3rd '03 Pac-10, ‘03
6. Roderick Dotts, Jr 1:49.05, 6th '05 P-10, '04-‘05

Top runners of other decades (top time, all-time (a-t) UO ranking, accomplishments, all-American awards in event, career)

90s – Shannon Lemora 1:47.75, #7 UO a-t, '90-‘92
80s – Joaquim Cruz 1:41.77, SR, CR, WR at time, '84 Olympic and '83 and '84 NCAA Champion '83-‘84
David Mack 1:45.55 #4 UO a-t, #9 P-10 a-t, '82 NCAA champion, '83 and '87 World Championships competitor, 3x P-10 champ '80-‘82
70s – Steve Bence 1:48.1 880yd #4 UO a-t, 2x a-a '72-‘75
60s – Wade Bell – 1:45.17 #3 UO a-t, #5 P-10 a-t, '67 NCAA and US champion, '68 Olympian, 2x US 1000 record setter, '65-‘67
Sig Ohleman – 1:48.7 880 yd, #5 UO a-t, '61 NCAA runner-up, '60 Olympian

Oregon athletes have won 15 all-American awards and five NCAA championships over 800 meters/880 yards.

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