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Best College Frosh in History?

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  • Best College Frosh in History?

    There's the oldies--Gerry Lindgren, Jim Ryun, and Steve Prefontaine!
    Randy Matson?
    To this century--Sydney McLaughlin, Rai Benjamin, Michael Norman, Mondo Duplantis, and now Athing Mu.

    Who do you pick?
    (You can combine INdoors & OUTdoors!)

  • #2
    Easy for me with those choices. JIM RYUN
    He represents the role model for a true legend in T&F just as the name of Roger Bannister does.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by midwestfan View Post
      Easy for me with those choices. JIM RYUN
      He represents the role model for a true legend in T&F just as the name of Roger Bannister does.
      Two things--
      I wasn't limiting it to those names--those just came to me off the top of my head!
      And this is limited to just the athlete's FROSH year in college, NOT their entire career!!

      I too like Ryun, who set the WORLD record soon after his Frosh year ended (but before his Soph year began!).
      But you can't ignore Lindgren who tied Billy Miills in that 6 Mile WR of 27:11.6, also soon after his Frosh year ended!
      Didn't Matson do great in both the SP & DT his Frosh year--like 71 & 213?
      McLaughlin ran 52.75 her Frosh year!
      Duplantis did 19-5 or so!

      But right now, I'm leaning towards Mu--the fastest ever INdoor relay leg of 49.54, a 50.52 in the open 400, plus CR's in the INdoor 600 & 800, the latter by over two seconds!
      And she still has most of OUTdoors to go!!
      Last edited by aaronk; 04-06-2021, 02:30 PM.

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      • #4
        Does Ted Meredith belong on this list?

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        • #5
          This is a tough question to answer for me, but I would agree with midwestfan. Jim Ryun was an amazing talent. He had already run the 1,500 in the Olympics before he was a freshman at Kansas.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by midwestfan View Post
            Easy for me with those choices. JIM RYUN
            He represents the role model for a true legend in T&F just as the name of Roger Bannister does.
            Indeed...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tandfman View Post
              Does Ted Meredith belong on this list?
              Meredith was 2 months shy of being 21 hrs old when he entered Penn in 1912. He spent one year after high school at Mercersberg before 1912 OG..
              I am not sure of his Frosh records at Penn in 1913 track season.
              His 1:52.8 “high school” record in 1912 was probably more like a college freshman record today??

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              • #8
                Originally posted by aaronk View Post
                There's the oldies--Gerry Lindgren, Jim Ryun, and Steve Prefontaine!
                Randy Matson?
                To this century--Sydney McLaughlin, Rai Benjamin, Michael Norman, Mondo Duplantis, and now Athing Mu.

                Who do you pick?
                (You can combine INdoors & OUTdoors!)
                Why did you include Michael Norman? His freshman year was good, but not superlative. Same with Benjamin.

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                • #9
                  If we go back to "earlier" days, I would vote for Leslie Mac Mitchell of NYU frosh (1938-1939). After finishing an amazing high school career at Geo Washington HS setting indoor and outdoor mile records, he was limited to his races as a Freshman. He won the IC4A XC title by 25 seconds and ran a 4:14.3 mile outdoors, 2:15.3 1000 yd and a photo finish 2n place to Gene Venzke in special 3/4 mile race a 1939 Millrose Games in 3:07.3 (Venzke was 3:07.2)..He went on to be the Sullivan award winner and dominant college miler at NYU.

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                  • #10

                    Jesse Owens won a record eight individual NCAA championships, four each in 1935 and 1936.

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                    • #11
                      Wasn't Ryun in 1966 ranked 1st in the world at 1500/mile AND the 800? And wasn't he TAFNews Athlete of the Year, too? Pretty hard to top that.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kevin536 View Post
                        Wasn't Ryun in 1966 ranked 1st in the world at 1500/mile AND the 800? And wasn't he TAFNews Athlete of the Year, too? Pretty hard to top that.
                        Adding in Ryun's 1966 Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of Year & the Sullivan award, Mu or anyone else has quite a mountain to climb to match up . . .

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                        • #13
                          Sorry aaronk. But Athing Mu is not remotely close to Jim Ryun in terms freshman year performances.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tuariki View Post
                            Sorry aaronk. But Athing Mu is not remotely close to Jim Ryun in terms freshman year performances.
                            I agree.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tandfman View Post

                              I agree.
                              Right now, with her OUTdoor season just beginning, I'd say she has an excellent chance to be the best ever Frosh!
                              Already, she---
                              broke the 600 CR by over a second!
                              broke the 800 CR by over two seconds!
                              ran the fastest ever INdoor 400, Relay or open!!

                              What if she were to smash the OUTdoor 800 CR by a second or two--to !:58 or 1:57?
                              And add a 400 under 50, maybe even a CR there also?
                              And improve her 1500 to 4:05 or faster??

                              AND make the Olympic team, then medal in Tokyo??

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