Deena Kastor is ranked second.
Last week, before the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Hersh compiled a list of the top ten male and female American marathoners.
Hersh listed 1972 Olympic gold medalist Frank Shorter as the number one American male. On the female side, he listed 1984 Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson as the best.
His rationale for the selection was based on the fact that Samuelson won the first women’s Olympic marathon–an event that turned her into a “running immortal”.
“Seventeen days after arthroscopic knee surgery, Benoit won the Olympic trials,” Hersh writes. “Three months later, she audaciously took off on her own after three miles of the inaugural Olympic women’s marathon and went on to win in a time [2:24:52] only three women have bettered in the Olympics [all in 2000].”
In the number two slot, Hersh listed 2004 Olympic bronze medalist and American-record holder, Deena Kastor, who is the only U.S. woman to dip under two hours and twenty minutes for the marathon.
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