Do you agree or disagree with this conclusion?
With Mebâ€™s second-place finish behind Galen at the Trials last Saturday, earning his fourth Olympic berth, you have to say once and for all â€” though itâ€™s a close call â€” that Meb has finally climbed to the very top of the U.S. distance running mountain as the best we have ever seen.
For years I felt that Frank Shorter held that lofty recognition with his Olympic gold in Munich `72 and Olympic silver (shouldâ€™ve been gold) four years later in Montreal. And remember, as we talk about doubles, that Frank finished fifth in the Munich Olympic 10,000 m final five days before his marathon gold.
Plus, the Yale Eli got it done across the board: road, cross country and track, earning an NCAA 10,00m title in 1969 before adding five more U.S. 10,000m titles, another in the 5000m, four more national cross country crowns, two Olympic Trials victories in the 10,000m and the marathon, and three No. 1 rankings in the world in the marathon. Add on being father of the original Running Boom, co-founder of the Bolder Boulder 10K, a leading advocate for a drug-free sport, and one sees in Shorter a lifeâ€™s worth of excellence and integrity in his sport.
But Frankâ€™s athletic prime only stretched from 1969 to 1976 (if you can call that only), while Meb has been the sportâ€™s Energizer bunny from 1997 to 2016