Don Paige

Donald J. Paige (born October 13, 1956) is an American retired middle distance runner.

Don Paige
Personal information
BornOctober 13, 1956 (age 62)
Baldwinsville, New York

Track career

In 1979, while a student at Villanova University,[1] Paige ran an indoor American Record of 2:20.3 for 1000m and a few months later ran a personal best of 3:54.6 for the mile. In June he pulled off a rare 800m/1500m double at the NCAA championships, becoming only the third man to win both events after Ron Delany (1958) and Ross Hume (1945). (In the 800, run only 35 minutes after the 1500m final, he ran a rare negative split race of 54.3/51.9, while in the 1500 he closed his last lap in a swift 53.7, the last 200 being covered in 26.2 seconds.) Two weeks later Paige ran a personal best for the 1500 of 3:37.4, good for 10th place on the all-time U.S. list at that time, in finishing second to Steve Scott at the AAU championships. 1979 culminated with him winning the 1500 meters title at the Pan American Games.

In 1980, Paige won the 800 at the USA Olympic Trials on 23 June 1980 in Eugene, Oregon, but was denied participation at the 1980 Olympic Games because of the USA boycott.[2] Paige did however receive one of 461 Congressional Gold Medals created especially for the spurned athletes.[3] In the race he set the world best year performance in the men's 800 metres in 1980 at 1:44.53[4] U.S. After the 1980 Olympics, he defeated the 800 meter Olympic silver medalist and world record holder Sebastian Coe by 0.03 seconds in an 800-meter race in Via Reggio, Italy and was later ranked number one in the world for the 800m in 1980 by Track & Field News magazine. As some small consolation for missing the Olympics, he also won the 800 m at the Olympic Boycott Games.

His personal best in the same event came three years later: 1:44.29, achieved on 4 September 1983 in Rieti, Lazio, Italy.

Paige ran 3:54.19, his lifetime best for the mile, on May 16, 1982.

In 1984, Paige failed to qualify for the Olympics finishing fifth in the 800 m final at the Olympic Trials.[2]

Early life

Paige was born in New York state, where he attended Charles W. Baker High School in Baldwinsville (near Syracuse), then attended Villanova University from where he graduated in 1980 with a degree in Business Administration in Finance.[5] He was then awarded a NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship, and attended for 1 year Drexel University's MBA program.[5]

As well as a student athlete, Paige was also from 1981 to 1984 Assistant Track Coach for Middle Distances at Villanova University.[5] Paige was honored in 1997 for his outstanding achievements as a middle distance runner at Villanova including winning two NCAA Outdoor individual titles in the 800m (1979–80) and one at 1500m (1979), and at the indoor NCAA Championships three 1000y titles (1978–80).[6] During his time at Villanova, Paige was coached by their legendary track coach Jumbo Elliott, and considered himself a graduate of the 'Jumbo Elliott' system like other Villanova track greats like Marty Liquori and Eamonn Coghlan. At Villanova, Paige also met his wife, Carolyn.[7]

After graduating from Vilanova, Paige ran for Marty Liquori's Athletic Attic track team.[8]

Later life

Since retiring from athletics, Paige has worked on the design of track and field facilities, as owner of his own consultancy company.[5]

Looking back at the Olympic boycott, Paige has no lingering ill-feeling, in fact he is reported as saying he understood and supported President Carter's decision, even writing an article explaining his reasons for his school newspaper.[9] His main regret, he has stated, was not getting the chance of 'walking in the opening ceremonies with all of those athletes from around the world'.[8]

On his victory over Seb Coe after the Olympics, Paige said "I was No. 1 in the world, but Sebastian Coe was a better half-miler than me, I just beat him that day."[9]


Paige was ranked among the best in the USA and the world in the 800 m over the period 1979 to 1984, according to the votes of the experts of Track and Field News.[10][11]

Paige also showed early promise as 1500 m runner.[12][13]

Paige was also ranked no. 1 at 1000 y/1000 m in the USA for five consecutive years.[7]

800 meters
Year World rank US rank
1978 - -
1979 7th 2nd
1980 1st 1st
1981 - -
1982 - -
1983 - 4th
1984 - 5th
1500 meters
Year World rank US rank
1978 - 4th
1979 7th 2nd
1980 - 6th
1981 - -
1982 - 10th
1983 - -
1984 - -


  1. ^ Don Paige, T & F N Interview, Jon Henderschott, August 1979. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  2. ^ a b The History of the United States Olympic Trials - Track & Field, R Hymans, USA Track & Field, 2008.
  3. ^ Caroccioli, Tom; Caroccioli, Jerry. Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Highland Park, IL: New Chapter Press. pp. 243–253. ISBN 978-0942257403.
  4. ^ trackfield.brinkster
  5. ^ a b c d Paige Design Group. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  6. ^ Villanova Honors 100th Anniversary of Track & Field, The Official Site of Villanova Athletics, September 25, 1997. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2012-07-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Don Paige, T & F N Interview, Dave Johnson, April 1982. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  8. ^ a b Looking Back with Don Paige (Part 2)', Carlo Cuccaro, Fleet Feet Sports, February 13, 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  9. ^ a b 'Don Paige: 30 Years after the Boycott', Villanova Running, July 22, 2010. Print of article from Philadelphia Daily News by Frank Bertucci. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  10. ^ "World Rankings Index--Men's 800 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News.
  11. ^ "U.S. Rankings Index--Men's 800 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News.
  12. ^ "World Rankings Index--Men's 1500 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News.
  13. ^ "U.S. Rankings Index--Men's 1500 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News.
1000 metres

The 1000 metres is an uncommon Middle-distance running event in track and field competitions.

The 1000 yards, an imperial alternative, was sometimes also contested.

1979 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships

The 1979 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships took place between June 16-17 at Hilmer Lodge Stadium on the campus of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California. The decathlon took place on June 3-4. This was the last time the meet was organized by the AAU. Their status as the national governing body was terminated at the end of the year as a result of the Amateur Sports Act of 1978. They were replaced by the newly formed organization The Athletics Congress, hosting the meet at this same location.

1980 United States Olympic Trials (track and field)

The 1980 United States Olympic Trials for track and field were held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. These were the first such trials organized by the new national governing body for the sport of track and field, The Athletics Congress formed one year earlier as required by the Amateur Sports Act of 1978. Previous trials had been organized by the AAU. The eight-day competition lasted from June 21 until June 29.

Unlike any of the previous or subsequent years, the Olympic Trials in 1980 did not select representatives to the 1980 Summer Olympics. By this point in the year, President Jimmy Carter had already announced the 1980 Summer Olympics boycott. This affected the competition. Some disillusioned athletes did not compete or did not persevere through illness or injury as they might have if coveted Olympic bids were on the line. Subsequently, after having their Olympic dreams crushed, some athletes, notably Tom Hintnaus and Gary Fanelli, chose to compete for other countries. Others like Franklin Jacobs walked away from the sport.The only qualifiers to another meet from this meet came from two women's exhibition events, the 400 m hurdles and 5000 meters, who were invited to the 1980 World Championships in Athletics. Many of the top 3 from this meet ran in the alternative to the Olympics, the Liberty Bell Classic, a few weeks later.

The trials for the men's and women's marathon were held May 24 in Buffalo, New York, and the trials for the men's 50 km race walk were held May 10 in Niagara Falls, New York.

1980 in athletics (track and field)

This page contains an overview of the year 1980 in athletics. The major athletics event of the year was the 1980 Moscow Olympics. A boycott of this competition meant many of world's leading athletes did not face each other, with many of the boycotting athletes taking part in the rival Liberty Bell Classic competition.

A further global event, the 1980 World Championships in Athletics, was held specifically for women athletes in the 400 metres hurdles and 3000 metres disciplines, as neither event featured on the Olympic programme in spite of IAAF approval.

1984 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships

The 1984 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships took place between June 8–9 at Jaguar Stadium on the campus of San Jose City College in San Jose, California. The meet was organized by The Athletics Congress.

This meet was separate from the 1984 Olympic Trials, held in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum a week later. Among the notable events at this meet were Leslie Maxie's youth world best in the 400 metres hurdles that lasted more than 30 years. Also, then 47 year old Al Oerter was at this meet making one last attempt to get to the Olympics, 16 years after the end of his 4 successive gold medal streak in the discus. His hopes ended here when he was injured stepping into a crater left by a hammer during the preliminary round. Local rivals John Powell and Mac Wilkins instead threw their season bests at this meet before going on to the silver (Wilkins) and bronze (Powell) medals at the Olympics in Los Angeles.

800 metres

The 800 metres, or 800 meters (US spelling), is a common track running event. It is the shortest common middle-distance running event. The 800 metres is run over two laps of the track (400 metre track) and has been an Olympic event since the first games in 1896. During indoor track season the event is usually run on a 200-metre track, therefore requiring four laps.

The event was derived from the imperial measurement of a half a mile (880 yards), a traditional English racing distance. Imperial racing distances were common in the United States. American high schools (in the name of the NFHS) were the last to convert to metric distances in 1980, following the NCAA's conversion in 1976. Countries associated to the English system converted to metric distances after the 1966 Commonwealth Games. 800 m is 4.67 m less than half a mile.

The event combines aerobic endurance with anaerobic conditioning and sprint speed. Both the aerobic and anaerobic systems are being taxed to a high extent, thus the 800 metre athlete is required to combine training between both systems.

Runners in this event are often fast enough to compete in the 400 metres or the 4 × 400 metres relay but only Alberto Juantorena and Jarmila Kratochvílová have won major international titles at 400 m and 800 m. If they are so inclined, 400 m runners are usually encouraged to run the 200 metres while 800 m runners are encouraged to run the 1500 metres or long distance events.

Athletics at the 1979 Pan American Games

The Athletics Competition at the 1979 Pan American Games was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Baldwinsville, New York

Baldwinsville is a village in Onondaga County, New York, United States. The population was 7,378 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Syracuse Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Baldwinsville is located in the towns of Clay, Lysander, and Van Buren.

Liberty Bell Classic

The Liberty Bell Classic was a 1980 track and field athletics event organized by The Athletics Congress as part of the 1980 Olympic boycott and held at Franklin Field in Philadelphia on July 16 and 17, 1980. It was named after Philadelphia's Liberty Bell.

The U.S. Congress voted $10 million to fund alternative tournaments in several Olympic sports, to which athletes from boycotting countries would be invited. Besides the Liberty Bell Classic, the U.S. Gymnastics Federation held an International Invitational tournament in Hartford, Connecticut. Earlier in the year, the United States had considered holding other games in Côte d'Ivoire, Italy, Japan, West Germany or China.The IAAF prohibited any official track and field meets that would clash with the Olympic meet, and so the Liberty Bell began three days before the Moscow Games opened (ten days before the Olympic athletics events began). The Liberty Bell came the day after the prestigious Bislett Games in Oslo and many eligible athletes declined to compete, including 17 of the 34 champions at the US Olympic Trials. The winning performances in two events, men's 110 m hurdles and 400 m hurdles, were better than those in Moscow.

List of Pan American Games medalists in athletics (men)

This is the complete list of Pan American Games medalists in men's athletics from 1951 to 2015.

List of United States collegiate records in track and field

The United States collegiate records in track and field are the best marks in track and field events from collegiate athletes (of any nationality), done while the athletes were competing for an American institution of higher education.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) track and field system from which all collegiate records currently come from has been touted as one of the main reasons for the success of the United States on the global stage of athletics.In the case of outdoor record-breaking performances achieved during the summer after the relevant national collegiate spring track and field championship (for example, the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships) has passed, both the best summer mark and the best in-season mark are listed.

Some of the records are maintained by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association or the Track & Field News publication.

List of alumni of Villanova University

Various notable individuals in many professions attended Villanova University at some point in their educational careers. Many influential and important individuals in the fields of government, business, economics, education, entertainment, arts, fashion, athletics and the sciences are alumni of Villanova.

List of middle-distance runners

As of May 2005, this is a list of notable male middle distance runners (800 m – 3000 m) since the first Olympic Games in 1896.

This list includes any athlete who has been a medalist in the Olympic Games or World championships (indoor and outdoor). Also included are medalists in the IAAF World Cup and WAF events. Finally, it includes any athlete ranked (by time) in the top three of a middle distance event for any given year since 1980.

Mark Winzenried

Mark Winzenried (born October 13, 1949) is an American former middle-distance runner. The 1971 NCAA champion at 880 yards, Winzenried narrowly missed qualifying for the American Olympic team in 1968 and was favored to qualify in 1972 until an injured Achilles tendon spoiled his chances. He held the indoor world best at the unusual distance of 1000 yards from 1972 to 1981, and still holds the world junior best in another non-standard event, 600 meters.

Millrose Games

The Millrose Games is an annual indoor athletics meet (track and field) held each February in New York City. They started taking place at the Armory in Washington Heights in 2012, after having taken place in Madison Square Garden from 1914 to 2011. The games were started when employees of the New York City branch of Wanamaker's department store formed the Millrose Track Club to hold a meet. The featured event is the Wanamaker Mile.

NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships – Men's 1,500 meter run

This is a list of the NCAA outdoor champions in the mile run until 1975, and the metric 1500 meters being contested in Olympic years starting in 1932. Metrication occurred in 1976, so all subsequent championships were at the metric distance. Hand timing was used until 1973, starting in 1974 fully automatic timing was used.

NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships – Men's 800 meter run

This is a list of the NCAA outdoor champions in the 880 yard run until 1975, and the metric 800 meters being contested in Olympic years starting in 1932. Metrication occurred in 1976, so all subsequent championships were at the metric distance. Hand timing was used until 1973, starting in 1974 fully automatic timing was used.

October 13

October 13 is the 286th day of the year (287th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 79 days remaining until the end of the year.

Paige (name)

Paige is a given name for males and females. It is of Latin origin (Byzantine "Págius" young boy helper/mate of young nobles, from "padius" young boy, derived from Greek "Paidion" child)and its meaning is "young helper" or "young child.” A page in medieval households was usually a young boy whose service was the first step in his training as a knight. Use may possibly indicate an ancestor who was a page.

In modern times Paige has become a given name, generally given to girls living in North America since the middle of the 20th century, but also occasionally to boys.

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