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Pac-12 Track & Field GOAT Series Wrap-Up

A round up of the GOAT. and Honorable Mention choices in a six-part series

Posted on May 12, 2020

  By Steve Ritchie, SuperWest Sports

The six columns I wrote on the Greatest Track & Field Athletes of All-Time for each Pac-12 school generated a fair amount of response. Surprisingly, no one took issue with any of my G.O.A.T. picks; all the feedback was about the honorable mention category.

Fans, coaches, announcers, reporters all provided suggestions and valuable information about athletes who they felt should be added to the list. I followed up on every suggestion, as well as some athletes I had second thoughts about, and most of those have been added to the honorable mention lists and are listed in boldface below.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to contact me—it was interesting to go back and research some people that I missed. For example, I totally missed Cal sprinter Leamon King, who was the co-holder of the 100 meter world record (10.1 hand time) from 1956 to 1960. Same with Earl McCullouch of USC, who held the 110 hurdles record for nearly two years while at USC.

Should you discover a glaring omission please feel free to bring it to my attention at

Special thanks to Paul Merca (track announcer for UW and UA as well as a track and field blogger) for all of his assistance on this project; to Ken Goe of The Oregonian for including the columns in his Track & Field Rundown; and to Track & Field News for linking to the columns in the “Top Headlines” listings on their website.

The full list of GOATs and Honorable Mentions follows, alphabetical by school, with links to the original stories, for those who may have missed them.

Arizona Men

Arizona’s George Young improved dramatically while in Tucson. | Arizona Athletics

GOAT: George Young, Steeplechase & 5000 meters

Honorable Mention: Lawi Lalang, Robert Cheseret, Jean-Patrick Nduwimana, Marc Davis, Michael Bates, Ed Carruthers, Martin Keino, Abdi Abdirahman, Jake Arnold, Matt Giusto, Gayle Hopkins, Esko Mikkolu, Thom Hunt, Vance Johnson.

Arizona Women

Arizona’s Meg Ritchie won several championships at UA and in Scotland. | Arizona Athletics

GOAT: Meg Ritchie, Shot & Discus

Honorable Mention: Brigetta Barrett, Amy Skieresz, Brianna Glenn, Kim Gallagher, Carla Garrett, Sage Watson, Joan Hansen, Tanya Hughes, Liz Patterson, Katrena Johnson, Maryse Ewanje Epe, Julie Labonte, Georgeanne Moline. (Kim Gallagher and Sandra Farmer-Patrick had only brief stays at Arizona, and, thus, have been dropped from the list.)

Arizona State Men

ASU’s Dwight Phillips had tremendous success at the Olympics and World Championships. | ASU Athletics

GOAT: Dwight Phillips, Long Jump

Honorable Mention: Ryan Whiting, Herman Frazier, Jordan Clarke, Bryan McBride, Nick Hysong, Mark Murro, Henry Carr, Ron Freeman, Dwayne Evans, Kyle Alcorn.

Arizona State Women

Arizona State’s Jackie Johnson was one of the most dominant athletes in the school’s history. | ASU Athletics

GOAT: Jackie Johnson, Heptathlon/Pentathlon

Honorable Mention: Shelby Houlihan, Maggie Ewen, Maicel Malone, Jessica Pressley, Lynda Tolbert-Goode, Colleen Reinstra, Anna Jelmini, Amy (Hastings) Cragg, Desiree Davila-Linden, Sarah Stevens.

California Men

Cal’s James Robinson had a wicked 200-meter kick. | Cal Athletics

GOAT: James Robinson, 800 meters

Honorable Mention: Don Bowden, Hal Davis, Archie Williams, Eddie Hart, Chris Huffins, Gunn Smith, Larry Cowling, Jack Merchant, David Torrance, Dave Stern, Leamon King.

California Women

Cal’s Sheila Hudson won six NCAA titles and qualified for two Olympics. | Cal Athletics

GOAT: Sheila Hudson, Triple & Long Jumps

Honorable Mention: Alysia (Johnson) Montano, Grace Upshaw, Deb Maier, Magdalena Lewy Boulet, Lauren Martinez, Katie Morgan, Kimyon Broom.

Colorado Men

Training in elevation gave Bill Toomey an edge at the 1968 Olympics. | CU Athletics

GOAT: Bill Toomey, Decathlon

Honorable Mention: Adam Goucher, Alan Culpepper, Dathan Ritzenhein, David Bolen, Jorge Torres, Don Campbell, Brent Vaughn, Cliff Branch, Daniel Reese.

Colorado Women

Mary Decker Slaney ran two years at Colorado before going pro. | CU Athletics

GOAT: Mary (Decker) Slaney, Distance

Honorable Mention: Jenny (Barringer) Simpson, Emma Coburn, Kara (Grgas-Wheeler) Goucher, Yvonne Scott, Donna Waller, Sara Vaughn, Sara (Gorton) Slattery, Shalaya Kipp.

Oregon Men

Oregon’s Ashton Eaton ranks among the greatest decathletes of all time with his two gold medals. | Oregon Athletics

GOAT: Ashton Eaton, Decathlon

Honorable Mention: Steve Prefontaine, Galen Rupp, Joaquim Cruz, Edward Cheserek, Matthew Centrowitz, Mac Wilkins, Bill Dellinger, Otis Davis, Harry Jerome, Bill McChesney, Ralph Hill, Dyrol Burleson, Jim Grelle, Devon Allen, Andrew Wheating, Wade Bell, Dean Crouser.

Oregon Women

Raevyn Rogers seals the title for Oregon with a fast anchor in the 4 x 400 at the 2017 NCAA Championships. |

GOAT: Raevyn Rogers, 800 meters

Honorable Mention: Brianne Theisen-Eaton, Jenna Prandini, English Gardner, Claudette Groenendahl, Phyllis Francis, Ariana Washington, Jessica Hull, Kathy Hayes, Jordan Hasay, Laura Roesler, Leanne Warren, Kelly Blair LaBounty, Deajah Stevens.

Oregon State Men

Oregon State’s Dick Fosbury revolutionized the high jump with his trademark “flop.” | Oregon State Athletics

GOAT: Dick Fosbury, High Jump

Honorable Mention: Hailu Ebba, Willie Turner, Morgan Groth, Dale Story, Tracy Smith, Kasheef Hassan, John Radetich, Tom Woods, Forrest Smithson, Jim Barkley, Tim Vollmer, Steve DeAutremont, Karl Van Calcar.

Oregon State Women

Oregon State’s Joni Huntley broke barriers in OSU women’s athletics with a number of firsts. | Oregon State Athletics

GOAT: Joni Huntley, High Jump

Honorable Mention: Cindy Greiner, Kathy Weston, Carina Westover, Sonya Crowther.

Stanford Men

Stanford’s Bob Mathias is widely recognized as one of the World’s greatest athletes. |

GOAT:  Bob Mathias, Decathlon

Honorable Mention: Terry Albritton, Harlow Rothert, James Lofton, Ian Dobson, Chris Derrick, Ernie Cunliffe, Brad Hauser, Bud Held, Ryan Hall, Ben Eastman, Don Kardong, Tony Sandoval.

Stanford Women

Stanford’s Katerina Stefanidi made meteoric improvement while on the Farm and beyond. | Athletics

GOAT:  Katarina Stefanidi, Pole Vault

Honorable Mention: Kori Carter, Lauren Fleshman, Regina Jacobs, Alicia Craig, Erica McLain, Jillian Camarena, Jackie Edwards, Patti Sue Plumer, Sara (Bei) Hall, Vanessa Fraser, Jackie Edwards.


UCLA’s Mike Powell at the 1986 Pac-12 Championships. |

GOAT:  Mike Powell, Long Jump

Honorable Mention: Ato Boldon, Kevin Young, Meb Keflezighi, Willie Banks, Greg Foster, John Godina, Rafer Johnson, C.K. Yang, Dwight Stones, Andre Phillips, Steve Lewis, Cy Young, Mike Marsh, Danny Everett, John Brenner.

UCLA Women

UCLA’s Jackie Joyner-Kersee rose from poverty to greatness in track and field. | UCLA Athletics

GOAT: Jackie Joyner-Kersey, Heptathlon & Long Jump

Honorable Mention: Gail Devers, Florence Griffith Joyner, Kate Schmidt, Evelyn Ashford, Francie Larrieu-Smith, Dawn Harper-Nelson, Amy Acuff, Chelsea Johnson, Jeaneen Vickers-McKinney, Joanna Hayes, Monique Henderson, Sheena Johnson, Suzy Powell-Roos, Seilala Sua.


USC’s Parry O”Brien was a champion at every level, setting multiple world records. | USC Athletics

GOAT:  Parry O’Brien, Shot

Honorable Mention: Bob Seagren, Mel Patton, Feliz Sanchez, Quincy Watts, Charles Paddock, Randy Williams, Dallas Long, Balazs Kiss, Jack Davis, Don Quarrie, Lennox Miller, Louis Zamperini, Charlie Dumas, Andre DeGrasse, James Sanford, Clancy Edwards, Earl McCollouch, Bryshon Nellums, Jesse Williams.

USC Women

USC’s Dalilah Muhammed has outstanding skill and form in a very difficult event. | USC Athletics

GOAT: Dalilah Muhammed, 400 meter Hurdles

Honorable Mention: Angela Williams, Nia Ali, Virginia (Powell) Crawford, Inger Miller, Kendall Ellis, Natasha Danvers-Smith, Wendy Brown, Patty Van Wolvelaere, Lillian Copeland, Eva Orban, Brigita Longerholc, Yvette Bates.

Utah Men

Utah’s Blaine Lindgren was not happy with his silver medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. | Photo in Public Domain

GOAT: Blaine Lindgren, 110 High Hurdles

Honorable Mention: Jeff Simonich, Scott Daniels, Jeff Pratley, Teren Jameson, Alma Richards.

Utah Women

Utah’s Jill Molen-Koeven didn’t let setbacks keep her from winning a championship. | Utah Athletics

GOAT:  Jill Molen-Koeven, Distance

Honorable Mention: Grayson Murphy, Amanda Mergaert, Brenda Allen, Carla Pittelkow.

Washington Men

Brad Walker had an illustrious UW career. | Washington Athletics

GOAT:  Brad Walker, Pole Vault

Honorable Mention: Brian Sternberg, Scott Neilson, Mike Ramos, Phil Shinnick, Paul Jessup, Borys Chambul, Cary Feldmann, Ed Gennung, Herman Brix, Gus Pope

Washington Women

Aretha (Hill) Thurmond had a long and successful career at UW and well beyond. | Washington Athletics

GOAT:  Aretha (Hill) Thurmond, Discus

Honorable Mention: Katie Flood, Olivia Gruver, Megan Goethals, Katie (Follett) Mackey, Kate Soma, Regina Joyce, Helena Uusitalu.

Washington State Men

Henry Rono heads a long list of great WSU distance runners. | WSU Athletics

GOAT:  Henry Rono, Distance

Honorable Mention:  Gerry Lindgren, Bernard Lagat, Peter Koech, Jeshua Anderson, Julius Korir, Samson Kimobwa, John Ngeno, Joseph Taiwo, John van Reenen, Jack Nelson, Gabriel Tiacoh, Tore Gustafson.


Washington State Women

WSU’s Laura Lavine was a two-time NCAA discus champion for the Cougars. WSU Athletics

GOAT:  Laura Lavine, Discus

Honorable Mention:  Diana Pickler, Whitney Evans, Mary Moore, Alissa Brooks Johnson, Ebba Jungmark, Ellanee Richardson.

—More from Steve Ritchie—