Jim Ryun to be Inducted into Inaugural USTFCCCA Collegiate Athlete Hall of Fame Class


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Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Legendary Kansas track and field alum Jim Ryun will be inducted in the Inaugural United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Associate (USTFCCCA) Collegiate Athlete Hall of Fame, the organization announced on Thursday.

The induction ceremony will take place on June 6, 2022, at 5:30 p.m. CT at the Hult Center for Performing Arts in Eugene, Oregon.

“I am truly excited for Jim Ryun on the accomplishments he achieved to be inducted in the inaugural collegiate Hall of Fame,” head coach Stanley Redwine said. “It is a well-deserved testament of his efforts and dedication to be the best. I know that his wife Ann and his family are proud of him as well. He represents the current and past Kansas Track and Field teams.”

Ryun is one of 30 inductees that represent 205 national collegiate individual titles, 99 world records and 19 Olympic gold medals. The athletes selected to be in the first group inducted are Jenny Barringer, Ralph Boston, Ron Delany, Harrison Dillard, Suzy Favor, Charlie Greene, Carlette Guidry, DeHart Hubbard, Vicki Huber, Jackie Johnson, Jackie Joyner, Sally Kipyego, Carl Lewis, Gerry Lindgren, Randy Matson, Ralph Metcalfe, Rodney Milburn, Bobby Morrow, Suleiman Nyambui, Billy Olson, Merlene Ottey, Jesse Owens, Mel Patton, Steve Prefontaine, Meg Ritchie, Henry Rono, Wilma Rudolph, Jim Ryun, Erick Walder and John Woodruff.

Ryun, one of track & field’s most prolific figures in history, attended KU from 1965-69, where he owned world records in the 880 yards, 1,500 meters, mile and two-mile runs and was a five-time (four indoor, one outdoor) NCAA Champion as a Jayhawk. Throughout his running career, Ryun was a six-time world record holder.

At the age of 17, Ryun became the first high schooler to run a sub-four-minute mile, which his record mark of 3:55.3 stood for nearly 36 years. As a high school senior, he was voted the fourth-best miler in the world and High School Athlete of the Year by Track & Field News and was later one of 30 athletes in the inaugural class inducted into the National High School Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2018.

Ryun, who was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year in 1966, was a three-time Olympian (1964, 1968, 1972). During the same year, the Wichita, Kansas native, was named the winner of the AAU Sullivan Award for the top amateur athlete in America. Ryun won the silver medal in the 1968 Olympic Games in the 1,500 meters and was a winner of three U.S. titles in the mile. Ryun was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1977 and the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1980.

The induction ceremony will take place on June 6, 2022 at the Hult Center for Performing Arts in Eugene, Oregon, preceding the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships to be held at Hayward Field.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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