Yes Conover was DIII for at least a year or two.
Go back another decade..
Dale Kramer (13:50 5000 m), Bruce Fischer (sub 4 post college), Bob Hodge, Dan Henderson, Mark Conover & Dan Grimes (Humbolt switched from DII to DIII when they were still in school); Mike Axinn (2:20 marathon as a 20 year old college sophomore), Jim Miller 2:21 marathon in college (the latter two were the youngest OT qualifiers in 1980).
Yes Conover was DIII for at least a year or two.
Not even close. Clive Terrelonge - gold medalist at the World Indoor Champs in the 800. Represented Jamaica at the Olympics - ran at least 1:45.
Yeah, Dan Mayer was the man back in the day. One legend I heard regarding him is that he ran 20 miles the day before winning D3 nationals in the 10,000m. Don't know if this is true, but it makes a great story.
DougC is right - you have to include Dan Henderson, especially when you consider his post-collegiate career. Wasn't he fourth in the '84 Olympic Trials at 5k????????? I know he led some of the way.
Conover was DIII for one year at Humboldt. They then moved up to DII. He has the distinction of being All-American at DIII, DII, and DI. Back in those days the best (champions?) in DII and DIII could run the DI meet.
One of the great stories is Arnie Schraeder winning the DIII meet hosted by Fredonia State in New York on a Saturday in six inches of snow and then coming back on Monday and finishing like 11th or 12th at the DI meet in Tucson!
how about Edwin Moses?
Terrelonge ran 1.45:44 in 1995. How many of those other guys competed at Olympics or World Championships? He won the World Indoors, and say what you will about the quality of the competition - it was Worlds.
but you left out the fact that he then went out & ran tough at TAC for what 24 or 25th place the next weekend? What ever happened to Arnie Schraeder?
Jukka Tammisuo - natl champ for St. Lawrence while also making the Finnish Natl XC team that next Spring - he used the US season as training then ran his best races in Europe during the summer season
Go back another 10 years or so and there were a lot...including Henderson
a couple of big fish in the big pond: Edwin Moses and Joan Benoit.
Others to remember include: Bob Hodge, Dale Kramer (13:50 5000 in college, then he quit); Conover and Dan Grimes ran for Humboldt State, which switched from DII to DIII during their college careers; the 2 youngest OT marathon qualifiers in 1980 were Jim Miller (2:21) of Lawrence, and Mike Axinn (a 20 yr old sophomore from U Chicago who ran 2:20 or 2:21). Bruce Fischer ran for North Central and I think he ran sub 4 after college.
I distinctly remember a shoving match between an Auggie runner and a NCC guy after a distance track race... It might have been the 1500 - Rich Scopp got pissed at some bumping he took, maybe? My memory is fading - but it was indicative of the very real dislike between the two teams. It was evident even though I didn't go to either school.
I ran @ NCC (a few seasons with Dan Mayer) and am therefore biased. However, I find it incredible that Dan Mayer wasn't included on the original "top D3 of last 15 years" list! His 3K/5K/10K times & records, many national titles and great Wisconsin accent earn him a place on ALL top D3 lists!
Oh, and the 28:48 was run in early April at the Chicagoland Championships @ NCC (not Nationals - also @ NCC that year). I was out of school by then, but was fortunate enough to see the race. He outdueled Charles Mulinga (of local D2 "power" Lewis University) and more importantly, the wind. Most people there guessed the wind was strong enough to have cost him at least a second per lap. At that point of the season, only Bob Kempainen's 28:47 was faster on the US list.
And the sub 14:00 5K was actually a 13:52 victory at the INDOOR (!) Nationals! He sprinted to the lead (about a straightaway up at a lap and a 1/2) en route to lapping the field (most twice).
Arnie still lives in Wisconsin, has 2 or 3 kids, and after many years of not running seriously, ran a 2:29 and 32:xx this spring.
Back when Arnie was running the d3 winner would run D1 that monday (hard "double"!!!). I believe he was 11th just 2 days after winning d1. Here are some of Arnie's PR's in college (from UWSP track page)
I'm from Point, so I'm very biased, but I'd still say those are some good times! Mayer not only belongs on the list, but should arguably be #1.
Though he only ran sparingly in DIII after his team moved into the division, Dave Davis has stepped it up in recent years. He has to be on the list of the best in the past 15 years. Now with Nike and one of the best distance guys in the country.
Good call to the guy who brought up Dave Cooper. I remember a scalding letter he wrote to Sports Illustrated the year after he graduated about how their (and other's) lack of coverage for our sport is the reason track and field is dying in the US. He ran fast too.
How's this for a D-3 team? Wesleyan U. (CT) in the mid-60s:
Amby Burfoot--later Boston Marathon winner and even later Joggers World editor
Bill Rodgers--nuff said
Jeff Galloway--don't get started on him; he went to Munich in 72 and held the AR at 10 miles for a while.
I don't think the "college" division of the NCAA was split into D-II and D-III in the mid-70s.
It wasn't just Arnie who placed well at D1 2 days after winning D3... Dan Henderson placed 10th and Seamus McElligot placed well too (top 20?). Here's a solid list of D3 distance men in no particular order:
Clive Terrelonge (800 guy, but he was world-class)
I'd include Bill Rodgers, but did they really have a D3 division back then? Check out the link for the best D3 performances of All-Time.
I'm pretty sure that Rodgers went to a school that eventually became D3. But it was when D3 was formed, not a late convert like U. of Puget Sound. D3 didn't exist until a few years after Rodgers left.
That list is not complete. Maybe it only goes back to 79 or so.
Dale Kramer of Carleton went 13:51 in 1977 at Drake, and then 13:52 or 53 the next year.
Henderson also ran about 13:51 or 52 at Drake in 1979 or 80. Check the old T&F News, as the results should be in there.
Wasn't Marc Hunter DIII or were they DII?
the list may not be complete(i'm not sure) but it has been updated as recently as this spring since several times are from the 2002 Outdoor season