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Posted 08 Dec 2001   For week ended December 07, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 05Dec01

By Kent Larsen

LDS Track Star Inducted in Track Hall of Fame

MOBILE, ALABAMA -- Olympic track star and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Henry Marsh was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame last week. Marsh, 47, is a four-time Olympian who still holds the American record in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. He was inducted along with star sprinter/long jumper Carl Lewis, long jumper Larry Myricks and marthoner Alberto Salazar on November 30th at the USA Track and Field's Annual Meeting in Mobile.

Henry Dinwoodey Marsh is considered one of the greatest steeplechasers of all time. He was one of the world's top ten steeplechasers for 12 straight years, and best in the world for three of those years, the only time an American has done so. He set the American record in the steeplechase four times, and still holds the record, and which has stood for 16 years. Marsh said he was pleased at the honor, "to me, this means so much, because it is a validation of my career . . . you work so hard for so many years."

Marsh first gained attention in Track and Field after walkiing on at BYU in 1976. At first his time in the steeplechase was more than a minute off the American record. But within months he was close to the record. He came in second at the NCAA meet that year, and then was second in the Olympic Trials, and by the Montreal Olympic Games later that year, he had barely missed the American record and finished 10th overall.

Less than four years later, Marsh was poised to win gold. He won the 1979 steeplechase at the Spartakiad in Russia, "To have the national anthem played in Lenin Stadium in the midst of the Cold War was just an incredible experience," he remembers. The next year, at the Olympic Trials, he set an American record and was voted top male performer.

But the U.S. team never went to the Olympics that year. The U.S. boycotted the games. "At the time, I was on the executive committee of the U.S. Olympic Committee and was actually sent to the White House to be indoctrinated on why we had to boycott." He says that the boycott made his performance at the trials that much more meaningful.

But Marsh wasn't done by any means. Over his long career, he represented the U.S. 19 times in international competition, and was on a total of four Olympic teams, including the 1980 boycott team. He was the 1979 Pan American Games champion and was a member of the 1983 and 1987 World Championship Teams. In 1985, Marsh set his best time ever, finishing the 3,000 meter steeplechase in 8:09.17 at Koblenz, West Germany.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Marsh grew up there and in Utah, Texas and Hawaii before serving an LDS mission to Brazil. He graduated from BYU in 1978 Cum Laude in economics and pre-law. While maintaining his sports career, he then attended and graduated from the University of Oregon Law School in 1981.

A resident of Bountiful, Utah, Marsh practices as an attorney in Utah. He also has written a motivational book that details some of his experiences and is available as a motivational speaker on topics dealing with health and stress management.


Hall Induction: Excellence Validated, Former BYU steeplechaser Marsh earns honor
Salt Lake Tribune 3Dec01 S2
By Kurt Kragthorpe: Salt Lake Tribune

Lewis leads four 1984 Olympians added to Hall of Fame
USA Track &Field Press Release 14Nov01 S2

See also:

Cougar Club Hall of Fame - Henry Marsh S2

FranklinCovey - Henry Marsh - Extended Biography S2

Breakthrough Factor
More about Henry Marsh's "Breakthrough Factor : Creating Success and Happiness Through a Life of Value" at


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