Running Shots


Alan Scharsu (Fitch, of Austintown, Ohio, Class of "78") gained prominence as a freshman when he broke a few age-14 records, notably Craig Virgin's two-mile mark (9:32.0) at the Mansfield-Mehock Relays (75). In a race in which Rudy Chapa, a junior, won in 8:59.2, marking the first time a high school athlete went sub nine minutes on Ohio soil!! Alan came in fifth place clocking 9:24.8 and by the seasons end he would lower the frosh record to 9:15.6.

As a 15-year old soph Scharsu dominated Ohio. In cross country he ran 15 meets, setting 10 course records including breaking the state meet standard by almost 10 seconds. That spring Alan ran unbeaten in the mile and 2M, winning the latter in the state meet in 9:05.0.

As a Jr, Scharsu had 3-8:55 clockings for 2M, topped by his world age- 16 record of 8:45.8! That summer Alan won the US vs Soviet Junior race (5k) in 13:57.4y/14:20.1m.

Sr - Scharsu was the only runner to repeat his top spot (2M) from 1977 and moved to (then) No. 3 all-time with a 8:44.0 win at GWI. And ran a 4:09.6 mile. (R) Alan at Penn State.


1975- Luis Ostolozaga (Bishop Loughlin, NY) Van Cortlandt Park course record holder (12:16.4) and Kevin Byrne in action at VCP.

76- Kevin Byrne and John Gregorek in action at the Eastern States Championships at VCP. Gregorek won this and eight others.

A promising sophomore, Gregorek fullfilled that promise as a junior racing through the entire cross country season without a loss.

1983- Brad Hudson (North Hunterdon, NJ), a junior, celebrates his (then) CR 12:15.7 @ Van Cortlandt Park.


Bob Kennedy became the first runner to win the Foot Locker (Kinney) and NCAA Cross Country Championships in successive years.

About to be the moment:

Ryun, a 17-year old junior is the first schoolboy to break the 4-minute barrier 3:59.0 (6/5/64).

He would lower the mile record 4 more times in his senior year!!!!


Dave Moorcroft (GBR) just beyond 2 miles of his then world-record 5,000m in Oslo (1982). Link to video.



Salazar winnning Penn.

Salazar wins in Los Altos.

Roman Gomez (Belmont) vs

Calvin Gaziano (Castro Valley)

Jorge Torres (Wheeling, IL) a four-time Foot Locker finalist. 13th, 5th & 2nd in 97 (above-81), won in 98.


Jim Spivey Spohomore Jim Spivey Junior
Jim Spivey (Fenton, Bensenville, Illinois, Class of "78") began his running career in '75 as a sophomore in cross country.

Spivey was 2nd at state cross country his junior and senior year. Tom Graves won both ('76, '77).

A state qualifier in the two-mile his sophomore year, Spivey was 2nd (Graves won) in the two-mile his junior year in 9:00.5.

Jim Spivey (Fenton, IL) was undefeated in the 880, led the nation with his 1:50.3 state win.

(above) Won the IPI 1600.

The top prep at 800 had little trouble with the cross country distance as the Indiana frosh was 15th at the NCAA harrier race, right behind Rudy Chapa!

Spring: 3:44.66 1500.

As a soph, Spivey was 21st at the NCAA XC race.

In spring, was 4th in NCAA Track 5000m. He posted bests of 3:38.56/13:38.97 (1500/5k).

1981 - Jr: NCAA Track 1500 Spivey takes 3rd in Baton Rouge, LA (Best 3:37.24).

1982 - Spivey moves up to win NCAA 1500 Track title!

Garry Bjorklund (Proctor, MN) ran a 4:09.4 mile as a junior in 1968. In 69, Garry led the nation's prep milers with a 4:05.1 ahead of Pre's 4:06.0!


Rono, McDonald & Kilili
Padilla, Coe & Spivey (indoors).


Vince Cartier (Scotch Plains-Fanwood, NJ) Indoor Mile record setter in "72"- 4:06.6.

Steve Magness (Klien Oak, TX) set a school record of 4:22.8 1600m as a frosh. As senior-uncorked a 4:01.02 Mile in Oregon (Above).

Class of "03."

Rono leads Duncan McDonald & Simon Kilili @ Jenner 5k 1982.


Donald Sage (York)

Donald Sage (York) - Class of "2000"

York High School's best distance runner ever in the storied Duke's program - Elmhurst, IL.

(R) Another notable runner dons the Duke uniform...

Sebastian Coe clad in York garb.

Don Sage was in 7th grade when he began cross country and became fixated on running for longtime York coach Joe Newton.
Since Sage began running for York in 1996, York track and cross country coach Joe Newton claimed he had a freshman running "Steve Prefontaine" workouts....

But Donald Sage lived up to the hype; he ended a four-year career as the greatest distance runner the state has produced in the last 20 years!!

Don Sage leads the Paltine CC invite

Palatine CC Invite


Hamilton Reservoir

Don Sage leads the Paltine CC invite
Don Sage leads the Paltine CC invite Don Sage leads the Paltine CC invite   Don Sage enroute to winning the Paltine CC invite Don Sage enroute to winning the Paltine CC invite

Sage sets a new course record:

15:07 (old record 15:10 in '88),
after running 15:28 in last years win.

Don Sage wins the Paltine CC invite setting a CR
Don Sage wins the Paltine CC invite setting a CR Don Sage wins the Paltine CC invite setting a CR

In cross country, Don showed his talent early moving into the team’s best three by the end of his first season. Sage, would run on varsity all four years, almost unheard of on the deep York teams where the boys’team regularly numbers 125 and up drawn by the rich York tradition and the team’s legendary coach, Joe Newton.
The autumn of ’99, Sage led what many believe is the greatest cross country team the state has seen -York won the championship, scoring an incredible 24 points. He won the championship with a 3-mile time of 14:03, fourth on the state all-time list at famed Illinois cross country course @ Detweiller Park in Peoria. Sage was 24th as a freshman (14:59, Wheeling's Jorge Torres won-14:29), 2nd as a sophomore (14:22) & junior (14:16, second-both times to Torres-14:15, 14:00 respectively).
**The historic clash between Sage (Jr) & Torres (Sr) brought out two-time champion & Detweiller course record holder Craig Virgin, returning to the state meet for the first time in 24 years as Torres became the first and only three-time individual boys champion in the IHSA 53-year history of the sport.

After going 2½ years without a state title to call his own, Duke's junior Donald Sage punched his name in history with a remarkable double victory in 85° heat at O'Brien Stadium for the state meet. Sage won the 3200, in a PB 9:02.78, breaking away from Wheeling Senior Ed Torres (9:08.32). Sage returned to the track two hours later and ran a spectacular negative split in the 1600 (4:13.02 a PB, as Torres was 4th) Sage struggled through the first two laps (2:10), before he busted out a 63, and sprinted 60 flat for the final circuit.

In one of the greatest performances in Illinois high school distance history the Stanford-bound senior became the first person ever to win state track titles in the 1600 and the 3200 in two consecutive years.
Sage opened up with his 3200 victory -after following a fast pace (2:11-800, 4:22-Mile), approaching the last lap, Sage took off to the roars of the crowd showcasing blistering speed. The York Duke ran a 57.6 last 400 to finish in 8:42.89!! That time is a new Class AA meet record. Sage broke the previous record of 8:51.9 set by Tom Graves (Sandburg) in 1977 and just missing the converted 2M IHSA record of 8:42.6 set by the legendary Craig Virgin in 1973!!
The 1600, same story... Sage stayed near the front, before unleashing a 55.8 last lap to take the title in a time of 4:07.58. The time was .14 off the AA record and .48 off the IHSA all-time best. It was the fastest double in state meet history.

***Sage's efforts propelled the Dukes to their first state track title state track title in legendary coach Joe Newton's career. It was also the first time in state history a team won state titles in cross country & track in the same school year.

In the 2000 Prefontaine Classic, Sage ran a 4:00.29 mile, the 6th best performance ever by a high school runner (the fastest high school runner to not break the 4 minute barrier).

Cross Country 101 -NovelShots Pages: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19¹ | 19² | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 |

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