Salazar, Chapa to Receive University's Leo Harris Award
Oct. 19, 2001
EUGENE - Former University of Oregon track All-Americans Alberto Salazar and Rudy Chapa, who accumulated four American records, two individual NCAA championships as well as a pair of U.S. Olympic team berths, will be honored as co-recipients of the Leo Harris Award at halftime of the Ducks' football game vs. Stanford Saturday.
The award, which originated in 1967 and named after the university's former director of athletics, Leo Harris, is given annually to a former athletic letterman on the basis of 20 years of achievement and service since graduation.
The duo began their collegiate running careers for the Ducks during the fall of 1976 and accumulated 11 All-America track and cross country certificates before culminating their Oregon tenure in the spring of 1981.
During that span, Salazar claimed the NCAA cross country title in 1978 prior to establishing American records in the 5,000 meters (13:11.93), 10,000 (27:25.61) and marathon (2:08:52) in 1982. He would proceed to win the New York Marathon three times as well as the Boston Marathon once.
Chapa set the American record in the 3,000 meters (7:37.7) in 1979 after winning the 5,000 in the NCAA meet in 1978 and achieving All-America acclaim in cross country on four occasions (1976-79).
Together they helped lead the Ducks to one NCAA cross team title in 1977 along with a trio of runner-up finishes.
Chapa worked for Nike, Inc. from 1992 through April of 2001, and now is starting his own investments firm in Portland. Salazar also has worked as a marketing consultant for Nike, Inc. since 1992 in addition to serving as a spokesman for various charities such as Special Olympics, the American Lung Association and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
It marks the first time two recipients have been chosen to share the award in the same year.