Most female 800m dash runners of today have never heard of Kim Gallagher. As Chanelle Price, a Pennsylvania athlete just as Kim was, sets her sites on breaking the High School and USA Junior National records in the 800m and the possibility of making the Olympic team. It is only fitting that we reflect on the accomplishments and career of the women who should be consider one of the greatest American 800m runner of all time.When spectators coaches and athletes speak of the greatest female 800m dash runners you hear name such as Madeline Manning-Mims, Mary Slaney,Joetta Clark, and Jearl Miles Clark, But Kim's Name is never spoken among them. If we were to take a look at Kim's accomplishment and her illustrious but short career You will see way she should be considered in the group as one of the greatest.
Kim's records and statistics
High School Athlete
High School: Upper Dublin
High School All American
placed 8Th at the Olympic trails at the age of 16
12 PIAA State Titles
1979 ran 5000m 16:34.70 Still one of top 10 HS times
1981 Ran 3000m 9:19.67 still one top 10 HS times
1982 800m 2:00.07 High School National Record, USA Junior National Record
1982 Mile 4:16.60 High School National Record
USA Elite Athlete
1984 Ranked # 1 in the US for 800m
# 8 in the US for 1500m
1987 Ranked # 7 in the US for 800m
1988 Ranked # 1 in the US for 800m
# 4 in the world for 800m
# 2 in the US for 1500m
Inducted into Penn Relays and Pennsylvania Coaches Hall of Fame
Kim's greatest accomplishment would come at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games. In 1984 Kim won the silver medal in the 800m dash, and in 1988 she won the bronze medal with a time of 1:56.91 this time still ranks as one of the fastest time by an American. In 1988 Kim was the only American male or female to win an Olympic medal in a distance longer than 400m, but the most courageous thing about Kim's career is that she accomplished all these feats while being diagnosed with one illness after another. As an elite athlete she diagnosed with ovarian, colon and later stomach cancer.
As you read this blog and look at her statistics it should make you wonder why she is not in the US Track and Field Hall OF Fame.
So to those of you who compete in the women's 800m as you step on the line and
wait for the gun to start the 800m dash at the olympic trails take a second and remember one of the greatest of all time. " The Great Kim Gallagher"
Kim Gallagher died of a stroke in 2002 at the age of 38