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Don Campbell, Track

  • 1949 Russell Memorial Award as Region's Top Amateur Athlete
  • 1948 All-American in the 100-yard dash
  • Seven-Time Conference Champion
  • 1951 Pan American Games
  • Awarded the Purple Heart During World War II

The Sterling, Colo., native, known as the “Colorado Comet” overcame serious leg and hip injuries sustained in the jungles at Luzon in the Philippines in World War II to return to school and have a prolific collegiate and amateur career... An Army private, he was awarded the Purple Heart after taking machine gun fire to his upper leg area... Earned the prestigious Russell Memorial Award as the region’s top amateur athlete in 1949... Competed at CU in outdoor track from 1946-49 and indoor in 1950... An All-American in the 100-yard dash in 1948 and considered the top collegiate sprinter of his day, along with being one of the top 10 in the world... One of CU’s first individual outdoor champions as a member of the Big Seven Conference, as he won the 100- and 200-yard dashes in 1949... He ran a 9.9 as a prep athlete at Sterling High School, and was a Look Magazine high school All-American... He recorded one of the first sub 10-second times in the 100-yard dash at CU (9.5); he also had career bests of 6.2 in the 60 and 21.0 in the 220... He was the two-time Mountain States Conference outdoor champion in both the 100- and 220-yard dashes (1946 & 1947), and was the Big 7 Conference champion in both in 1949... He was the indoor champ in the 60 with a conference record performance in 1949, which wiped out the oldest standing record in the meet at the time... Represented CU and the nation in several international competitions, including the 1951 Pan American Games... Named one of CU’s 10 greatest athletes in the school’s first 75 years of existence in 1951... He was bidding to compete in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics (he had just missed being named to the ’48 U.S. team by one place, edged out by five inches), and had won the 100-meter dash in an AAU regional, but suffered an injured tendon to end his run... Retired from competition in 1952 and went on to play a significant role in the rejuvenation of CU’s Alumni C Club (served as president in 1956)... Turned 82 this past spring.

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