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Mary Slaney (Decker)

Inducted: 2003, athlete

Born: August 4, 1958 - Bunnvale, New Jersey

Events
800 m - 1:56.90
1,500 m - 3:57.12
1 mi. - 4:16.71
3,000 m - 8:25.83
5,000 m - 15:06.53
10,000 m - 31:35.30


The only athlete ever to hold every American record from 800 meters to 10,000 meters, Mary Decker Slaney continues to own the U.S. women's records in the 1500 (3:57.12), mile (4:16.71) and 3000 (8:25.83). Her greatest international achievement came at the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki, where she won the 1500 and 3000 meters -- a feat that would become known as the "Decker Double" and that helped earn her the title of Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year for 1983. A year earlier, she set world records in the mile (4:18.08), 2000m (5:32.7), 3000m indoors (8:47.3), 5000m (15:08.26) and 10,000m (31.35.3, in her first race at that distance), and won the AAU Sullivan Award. Over her career, Decker Slaney set 36 national records and 17 official and unofficial world records at various distances. A six-time winner at the Millrose Games in New York, she won her first Millrose crown at age 15 and her last at age 38. Decker Slaney first received international fame at the age of 14 with a surprise victory in the 800 meters at a USA vs. USSR dual meet, and she went on to qualify for four Olympic teams. She competed in her final Olympics in 1996 at the age of 37.

Records Held
American Record: 800 m - 1:56.90 (August 16, 1985 - )
American Record: 1,500 m - 3:57.12 (July 26, 1983 - )
American Record: 1 mi. - 4:16.71 (August 21, 1985 - )
American Record: 3,000 m - 8:25.83 (September 7, 1985 - )
American Record: 5,000 m - 15:06.53 (June 1, 1985 - )
American Record: 10,000 m - 31:35.30 (July 16, 1982 - )

Championships
1988 Olympics: 1,500 m (8th)
1988 Olympics: 3,000 m (10th)
1983 World Outdoors: 1,500 m (1st)
1983 World Outdoors: 3,000 m (1st)

Education
high school: Orange (Orange, California), 1976
undergraduate: Colorado (Boulder, Colorado), 1978

Occupations
Runner

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