Rono and Lindgren Elected to USTFCCCA Hall of Fame
NEW ORLEANS- The USTFCCCA announced on Thursday that former world record holders and Washington State track & field All-Americans, Henry Rono ('81), and Gerry Lindgren ('68), will be inaugural inductees as members of the USTFCCA Collegiate Athlete Hall of Fame Class of 2022.
Rono and Lindgren are part of the 30 track and field athletes chosen as the first class of inductees who are set to be formally recognized by the USTFCCA later this summer. The induction ceremony is set to take place at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene, Oregon, Monday, June 6, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The inaugural event will take place exactly one week prior to the start of the 2022 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field.
"This is an incredible honor for two extremely deserving men," said WSU Track and Field Head Coach, Wayne Phipps. "Henry and Gerry are two of the most accomplished and iconic distance runners in the history of the NCAA. Their success at the conference, national and world levels is amazing. Henry's accomplishment of four world records in four different events over just 81 days is unlikely to ever be surpassed. What a fantastic way to appreciate, honor and remember the amazing student-athletes and teams that Coach Chaplin led while at WSU," said Phipps.
WSU was one 24 schools represented on the initial list of Collegiate Hall of Fame inductees and one of seven Pac-12 programs with alumni represented. Washington State was one of only four schools with two or more selections into the Class of 2022 and the only Pac-12 program with multiple representatives on the initial list of honorees.
The first class of inductees was chosen solely on their accomplishments while a collegiate athlete. All 30 inductees combined compiled 205 national collegiate individual titles, 99 world records, and 19 Olympic gold medals.
In the Spring of 1978, he shocked the track and field world with four world distance records in a span of just 81 days. His streak began with a 5,000-meter record in Berkeley April 8, 1978 and ended June 27 in Oslo, Norway, with a 3,000-meter record. In between he set the 3,000-meter steeplechase record in Seattle May 13 and the 10,000-meter mark in Vienna, Austria, June 11. Rono's accomplishments were not limited to those 81 days, however. He dominated distance events during his collegiate cross country and indoor-outdoor track competition, winning six NCAA titles in addition to six outdoor records and four indoor marks. Following his record-setting spree in 1978 he received the following awards: Track and Field News Athlete of the Year, Sport Magazine's Track Athlete of the Year, AP European Sportswriters Sportsman of the Year and North America winner of Helms Athletic Foundation World Trophy.
Lindgren is widely considered the greatest distance runner in American Collegiate history. He won 11-straight NCAA titles and was never beaten in an official NCAA championship event. During his time as a Cougar, he set numerous American and Collegiate records from two to six miles and shared a world record with a six-mile time of 27:11.6. While attending John Rogers High School in Spokane, Lindgren set 11 prep distance marks and following his collegiate career, he won a spot on the 1964 U.S. Olympic team for the Games at Tokyo. He was the first American to beat the Russians in a distance race, accomplishing the feat in Los Angeles in 1964 in the U.S./Russia dual meet in the 10,000 meters.