|9.92||Ato Boldon’ (UCLA)||06/01/96|
|Walter Dix (FlSt)||06/08/07|
|Richard Thompson’ (LSU)||05/18/08|
|9.96||Travis Padgett (Clem)||05/10/08|
|9.97||Raymond Stewart’ (TCU)||05/20/89|
|Olapade Adeniken’ (UTEP)||04/04/92|
|9.98||Leonard Myles-Mills’ (BYU)||06/04/99|
|Coby Miller (Aub)||06/02/00|
|9.99||Bernard Williams (Fl)||06/02/00|
|10.00||Carl Lewis (Hous)||05/16/81|
What I'm doing is putting together a progression of these lists--the list at was the end of each year since 1900. In the process, I've discovered a few trends.
1. Be suspicious of world-class sprinters who weren't particularly good in college.
Exhibit A: Tim Montgomery. While great sprinters almost always improve after college, if they went from nothing to something then they had to be on something, if you catch my drift. The list above doesn't have anyone subsequently busted for steroid use, and neither did any of the lists I created. This observation raises my already-high opinion of Ato Boldon.
2. The 1960s and 70s upswing in US distance running could have been predicted.
The progression of times in college miling was slow for several decades, and then it went quick. There was a veritable explosion of college performances at the mile distance beginning in the late 1950s and kept strong for about six to eight years or so. Exactly why this occurred is anyone's guess, but domestic distance running was obviously improving rapidly and it was only a matter of time before this would show itself at longer races.
By the way, the combined top ten collegiate 1500/mile list hasn't had a new member since 1998, when Kevin Sullivan joined the club. Brian Hyde and Joe Falcon are the only Americans on that list from the last thirty years. I don't doubt that Alan Webb would have made it had he stayed at Michigan for a full four years, but that does put our distance-running woes in clear focus.