Mills heads first class in local Hall of Fame

Published: Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 9C

Seven legends are scheduled to be inducted into the Sacramento Running Association's first Hall of Fame class on Jan. 26 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, according to a news release.

Enshrined will be Billy Mills, Dennis Rinde, Eileen Claugus, Linda Somers, Rae Clark, Helen Klein and Paul Reese.

Mills' gold medal in the men's 10,000 meters at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo remains one of the great upsets in Olympic history.

Mills surged past favorite Ron Clarke of Australia and Mohammed Gammoudi of Tunisia to set a then-Olympic record of 28 minutes, 24.4 seconds, nearly 50 seconds faster than his previous best. He remains the only American to win an Olympic gold medal at that distance.

Rinde, a former Casa Roble High School and Sacramento State standout, set the gold standard for local marathoners with a 2-hour, 14-minute, 13-second effort in the 1984 California International Marathon. He also finished seventh in the 1981 Boston Marathon in 2:12:01, the fastest time ever recorded by a Sacramento-area runner.

Claugus, who starred at Rio Americano, set the national record for the high school mile by running 4:40.2 and ran a personal best in the marathon with a 2:37:16 performance in the 1982 Chicago Marathon.

Somers, who ran for UC Davis, won the 1993 CIM and the U.S. national women's marathon title with a 2:34:11 performance.

Clark was inducted into the American Ultrarunning Hall of Fame in 2011. He won the U.S. 100K Championship in 1988 with a sub-7-hour performance. Klein shattered the world marks for women 80 and older (4:31:32) and 85 and older (5:49:11). Reese was a pioneer in the ultrarunning community.

The Hall of Fame dinner starts at 6 p.m., and tickets are $50. Group and table-of-10 reservations can be made at

KCRA anchor Deirdre Fitzpatrick will serve as the emcee.

– Bee Sports staff

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