A runner whose stunning collegiate accomplishments led him to the Olympics and record-setting triumphs.
Born September 11, 1949 in Montclair, New Jersey, Marty Liquori was an agile and accomplished runner. In 1967, he became one of only four high school students to achieve a four-minute mile – the first of 26 he would accomplish over the course of his career.
The following year, at only 19, Liquori made the US Olympic team. Although he reached the 1,500-meter finals, he suffered a stress fracture and subsequently finished last.
Undaunted, Liquori won the NCAA and AAU outdoor one-mile championships in 1969 and finished second to Jim Ryan in the NCAA indoor meet. He repeated his AAU victory in 1970 and in 1971, Liquori enjoyed the most triumphant year of his success. He won the NCAA and AAU outdoor titles, took a gold medal in the 1,500-meter at the Pan-American Games and ran a personal best 3:54:6 mile at the Martin Luther King International Freedom Games in Philadelphia.
An injured left heel kept him out of competition until 1973. In 1975, Liquori ran a personal best 3:52:2 mile, finishing second to Gilbert Bayi, and set a US record of 8:17:12 in the two-mile.
Although he qualified again for the Olympic team in 1979, a severe hamstring injury prevented Liquori’s participation and forced him into retirement. He was elected to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.