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National Distance Running Hall of Fame Announces 2014 Induction Class

Jun. 5, 2014

(Utica, NY) The National Distance Running Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its twelfth class of inductees. This years class is Tom Fleming, Fred Wilt and Kim Merritt. 

"These individuals are highly worthy and represent the best of American distance running," said Tim Reed, Executive Director of the National Distance Running Hall of Fame.

Tom Fleming is a two-time Champion of the New York City Marathon (1973 & 1975). Fleming was a two-time runner up in the Boston Marathon (1973 &1974) and placed 3rd and 4th place in 1975 and 1979. He won the Los Angeles Marathon in 1981 as well as the Cleveland and Toronto International Marathons in 1978. He finished 5th in the 1976 Olympic Trails earning a spot as a marathon alternate. Fleming has served as a personal coach at the following events: Tokyo, Japan 1991 IAAF World Championships, Stuttgart, Germany 1993 IAAF World Championships, Goteborg, Sweden 1995 IAAF World Championships, Atlanta, GA the Olympic Games and the Athens, Greece 1997 IAAF World Championships.

Kim Merritt started running when there were no girls on her high school track team, so she trained with the boys until the athletic director stopped it. She managed to win two state titles in the mile. After high school, Merritt went to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside which, again, had no woman's track team so she again ran with the men.  Merritt is the first and only woman to win the New York City, Boston, and Honolulu Marathons. Her NYC Marathon win came in 1975, which was also when she won by six minutes at the AAU Women's National Championship; with a 2:46:14 time.

Fred Wilt won ten National Championships, NCAA two-mile run and four-mile cross country (1941), National AAU 10,000 meters, 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters cross country (1949), National AAU 5,000 meters (1950), National AAU indoor mile and 5,000 meters (1951), National AAU 10,000 meters Cross Country (1952) and National AAU 10,000 Meters Cross Country (1953). Wilt set five National Records 10,000 meters (1949), 3,000 meter and 5,000 meters (1950), two-mile (1951) and the indoor two-mile.

The National Distance Running Induction Ceremony will take place on Saturday, July 12th, at Mohawk Valley Community College in conjunction with the Boilermaker Expo.  The Ceremony will be held at 2:30 PM in the Auditorium at the Information Technology Building. It is free and open to the public.