Wes Santee Among 2005 USATF Hall of Fame Inductees

Nov. 3, 2005


University of Kansas track and field legend Wes Santee will be inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2005, announced on Thursday by USA Track & Field. He will be joined by other greats Roger Kingdom, Mike Powell, University of Arkansas head coach John McDonnell, Earlene Brown, Jim Fuchs and Fred Wolcott.

USATF announced the inductees Thursday afternoon in New York, site of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame and host of this Sunday’s New York City Marathon. The Class of 2005 will be inducted Thursday evening, December 1, at the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held in conjunction with USATF’s 2005 Annual Meeting in Jacksonville, Fla.

“I take great pride in welcoming the Class of 2005 into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame,” said USATF President Bill Roe. “These remarkable individuals have made tremendous contributions to the legacy of USA Track & Field, and I congratulate them for all their accomplishments.”

“All of us at USA Track & Field look forward to these all-time greats taking their rightful places in the National Track & Field Hall of Fame,” said USATF CEO Craig Masback. “All seven made indelible and unique contributions to the heritage of our sport, and they couldn’t be more deserving of this honor.”

One of America’s finest middle distance runners ever, Santee competed in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics in the 5,000 meters, although he is best remembered for his success in the mile and 1,500 meters. During his career, Santee owned the world indoor 1,500m record on two occasions and set the outdoor 1,500m world record at the 1956 Compton Invitational.

A three-time U.S. outdoor champion, Santee is most known for his prowess in the mile and 1,500 meters. One of a handful of competitors considered to be a serious threat to break the four-minute mile barrier before it happened in 1954, Santee set the world record in the 1,500 meters on June 4, 1956, when he was timed in 3 minutes, 42.8 seconds at the Compton Invitational. Santee also set the indoor mile world record twice (4:04.9-1954 & 4:03.8-1955), and the indoor 1,500m world record once in 1955 (3:48.3). Known for his versatility as a collegiate star at KU, on April 10, 1954, Santee had an amazing three-race performance against the University of California at Berkeley, where he won the 880y in 1:51.5, the mile in 4:05.5, and ran a 440 relay leg in 48-flat. As a Jayhawk, Santee won the NCAA outdoor mile title in 1953, the NCAA 5,000m crown in 1952, and the NCAA cross country title in 1953. The national indoor mile champion in 1955, Santee captured USA Outdoor 1500m/Mile crowns in 1952, 1953y and 1955. He was world ranked by Track & Field News in the 800 meters in 1953 (#2), 1954 (#8) & 1955 (#6); and in the 1,500 meters in 1953 (#2), 1954 (#3) & 1955 (#7). Santee currently resides in Eureka, Kan.

For more information on the National Track & Field Hall of Fame and the other 2005 inductess visit www.usatf.org.