Don Bowden Inducted into USATF Hall of Fame

Don Bowden Inducted into USATF Hall of Fame

Cal track and field legend adds to his legacy

Nov. 4, 2008

BERKELEY - California track and field hall of fame member Don Bowden was named to the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame today as announced by the organization. Bowden is one of five members in the 2008 class. The induction ceremony will take place Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, held in conjunction with USATF's 2008 Annual Meeting in Reno, Nev.

A 1956 Olympic Team member, Bowden was the first American ever to break the four-minute barrier in the mile (3:58.7) on June 1, 1957, in Stockton, Calif. His almost-50-year-old record time in the mile was recently broken by former Cal runner David Torrence, who set the new record at 3:58.62 at the California Collegiate Challenge on April 28, 2007, at Edwards Stadium.

A 1956 Olympian in the 1500, the 1957 NCAA Outdoor 880-yard champion, Bowden was ranked third in the world in the 800 meters by Track & Field News in 1957. He also ran the third leg (1:49.5) for Cal's quartet that set the 4x880-yard relay world record time of 7:21.0 in Los Angeles on May 24, 1957.

Joining Bowden in the '08 class are Johnny Gray, Bill Carr, Bernie Wefers and Jimmy Carnes. Having set five American records, including the current AR, Gray is considered one of the greatest 800m runners in U.S. history. Carr was a double gold medalist at the 1932 Olympic Games and a world-record holder in the 400 meters. Wefers was one of the world's fastest men during the late 1800s. He was a multiple world-record holder in the 100 and 220 yards, and was ranked No. 1 in the world in the 100 three times. Carnes was the initial President of TAC/USA, which is now USA Track & Field.

Don competed for the Golden Bears from 1956-58 and was inducted into the University of California Hall of Fame in 1987. 

Josef Ruef