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Wes Santee

Inducted: 2005, athlete

Born: March 25, 1932


A 1952 Olympian who competed in the 5,000 meters at the Games in Helsinki, Santee is most known for his prowess in the mile and 1,500 meters. One of a handful of competitors considered to be a serious threat to break the four-minute mile barrier before it happened in 1954, Santee set the world record in the 1,500 meters on June 4, 1956, when he was timed in 3 minutes, 42.8 seconds at the Compton Invitational. Santee also set the indoor mile world record twice (4:04.9-1954 & 4:03.8-1955), and the indoor 1,500m world record once in 1955 (3:48.3). Known for his versatility as a collegiate star at the University of Kansas, on April 10, 1954, Santee had an amazing three-race performance against the University of California at Berkeley, where he won the 880y in 1:51.5, the mile in 4:05.5, and ran a 440 relay leg in 48-flat. As a Jayhawk, Santee won the NCAA outdoor mile title in 1953, the NCAA 5,000m crown in 1952, and the NCAA cross country title in 1953. The national indoor mile champion in 1955, Santee captured USA Outdoor 1500m/Mile crowns in 1952, 1953y and 1955. He was world ranked by Track & Field News in the 800 meters in 1953 (#2), 1954 (#8) & 1955 (#6); and in the 1,500 meters in 1953 (#2), 1954 (#3) & 1955 (#7). Santee currently resides in Eureka, Kansas.

Records Held
World Record (indoor): 1,500 m - 3:48.30
World Record: 1,500 m - 3:42.80 (June 4, 1954 - )
World Record (indoor): 1 mi. - 4:04.00
World Record (indoor): 1 mi. - 4:03.80

Championships
1952 Olympic Games: 5,000 m - 15:10.04
1952 USA Outdoor Championships: 1,500 m - 3:49.30 (1st)
1953 USA Outdoor Championships: 1 mi. - 4:07.60 (1st)
1955 USA Indoor Championships: 1 mi. - 4:07.90 (1st)
1955 USA Outdoor Championships`: 1 mi. - 4:11.50 (1st)
1955 Pan American Games: 1,500 m - 3:53.20 (2nd)
1952 NCAA Outdoor Championships: 5,000 m (1st)
1953 NCAA Outdoor Championships: 1 mi. - 4:03.70 (1st)

Education
undergraduate: University of Kansas (Lawrence, Kansas)

Occupations
Marine Corps/Insurance business

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