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National Distance Running Hall of Fame Announces 2012 Induction Class

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. - The National Distance Running Hall of Fame announced the eleventh class of inductees to be honored in July in Utica.

The class of 2012 is comprised of Horace Ashenfelter, Glenn Cunningham, and Jacqueline Hansen.

“This year’s class is truly worthy and is representative of the highest achievements of American distance running”, said Tim Reed, Executive Director of the National Distance Running Hall of Fame.

At the 1952 Olympic Games, Horace Ashenfelter won a gold medal in the 3,000 meter steeplechase while breaking the world record in the steeplechase with a time of 8:45.4. He stands as the only American to hold a world record in steeplechase.

He won the 1952 Sullivan Award, known as the ‘Oscar’ of amateur athletics. As a senior at Penn State, Ashenfelter won the NCAA two-mile championship. Horace won his first of three National AAU titles in the steeplechase in 1951. Ashenfelter won a total of 17 national championships in a variety of distances, ranging from two to six miles, as well as cross-country between 1950 through 1956.

Severely burned as a child, Glenn Cunningham went on to be one of the world’s top middle distance runners during the 1930’s. In 1932, as a student at Kansas University, Cunningham won six Big-6 mile runs, two NCAA titles, and eight AAU national titles. In 1933, he swept the 800 and 1,500 meter runs at the AAU Nationals. Cunningham captured a silver medal in the 1,500m at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

He went on to set a world record in the 800 meter with a time of 1:49.7. In 1938, he set the indoor mile world record with a time of 4:04.4 surpassing the outdoor record by a full two seconds.
Jacqueline Hansen broke the 2:40 woman’s marathon barrier in 1975. She was ranked as the top woman marathoner for both 1974 and 1975.

Hansen won 12 of her first 15 marathons, including the Boston Marathon (1973), Honolulu Marathon, (1975) and the Avenue of the Giants Marathon (1976). Hansen is also a three-time winner of the Western Hemisphere Marathon (1972, 1974, & 1977) and Catalina Marathon (1979, 1981, & 1982). Hansen won the World Masters Athletic Championships in Melbourne, Australia in 1987 in the 1,500 and 5,000 meter events.

The Induction Ceremony will take place on Saturday, July 7, at Mohawk Valley Community College in conjunction with the Boilermaker Expo.

The Ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. in the Auditorium located in the Information Technology Building. Admission will be free and open to the general public.

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