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Bob Schul

Photo of Bob Schul

Inducted: 1991, athlete

Born: September 28, 1937 - West Milton, Ohio

2 mi. - 8:26
3 mi. - 13:10
5,000 m - 13:38.00

A late bloomer as an international distance runner, Bob Schul earned the signal distinction of being the only American ever to win the Olympic 5000 meters when he sprinted home in the rain at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. His triumph came just a few days after fellow Hall of Famer Billy Mills unexpectedly became the first American ever to win the Olympic 1,000 meters. As a youth, Schul's running potential was impeded by an asthmatic condition. A 4:34 high school miler, he joined the track team at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, as a walk-on. After interrupting his studies while he served in the Air Force, Schul ratcheted up his running under the tutelage of coach Mihaly Igloi. By 1963, when he returned to college, he had his first international success, winning a bronze medal in the 5000 meters at the Pan American Games. The following year, he ran 13:38.0 to break the American 5000m record by seven seconds, set a world record of 8:26.4 in the two-mile run, finished first in the USA-USSR dual meet, and won both the U.S. 5000m title and the Olympic trials. After brashly predicting an Olympic triumph, Schul made good on his promise, running the final lap in a withering 54.8 seconds. A year after the Games, Schul won the national three-mile title in an American record of 13:10.4.

Records Held
World Record: 2 mi. - 8:26
American Record: 3 mi. - 13:10
American Record: 5,000 m - 13:38.00 (June 5, 1964 - )

1964 Olympics: 5,000 m (1st)
1964 USA Outdoors: 5,000 m (1st)
1965 USA Outdoors: 3 mi. (1st)
1963 Pan-Am Games: 5,000 m (3rd)

high school: Milton Union (Dayton, Ohio), 1955
undergraduate: Miami of Ohio (Oxford, Ohio), 1966


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