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Doris Brown (Heritage)

Photo of Doris Brown (Heritage)

Inducted: 1990, athlete

Born: September 17, 1942 - Tacoma, Washington

800 m - 2:02.20
1,500 m - 4:14.40
3,000 m - 9:46.90
2 mi. - 10:07

A pioneer in women's distance running, Doris Brown Heritage won the world cross country championships from 1967 to 1972 -- the first five years in which this international competition took place. Undeterred by the obstacles women faced in the sport during those years, she had already developed her versatility as a runner. After being barred from even using the school track while she was in Peninsula High School, she joined a local running club and set a national record in the 440-yard dash. She next trained for the 800 meters -- the longest event then on the Olympic program for women -- and finished third at the 1960 Trials. Unfortunately, her time didn't qualify her for the Rome Olympics. That year, she entered Seattle Pacific College and began running with the men's team. A broken foot kept her off the 1964 Olympic team, but she pressed ahead. In 1966, she became the first women to run a sub-5 minute mile indoors, clocking 4:52. By the following year, she began her string of five world cross country championships. In 1968, she finished fifth in the 800 meters at the Mexico City Olympics. She set world records at 3000m and two miles during 1971, and that year, took a silver medal in the 800m at the Pan American Games. In all, she represented the U.S. on nine world cross country teams and won 14 national titles. An outstanding distance running coach at Seattle Pacific University, she was named an assistant coach for the U.S. women's team at the 1984 Olympics and 1987 Outdoor World Championships. She is also the first female member of the Cross Country and Road Running Committee of the IAAF, the world's governing body for the sport. In addition, Heritage is a member of the Distance Running Hall of Fame.

Records Held
World Record: 3,000 m - 9:26.90 (July 7, 1971 - )
World Record: 2 mi. - 10:07 (July 7, 1971 - )

1968 Olympics: 800 m (5th)
1971 Pan Am Games: 800 m (2nd)

high school: Peninsula (Gig Harbor, Washington), 1960
undergraduate: Seattle Pacific University (Seattle, Washington), 1964


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