Date Posted:01/05/2005,  3:30PM

Joan Benoit Samuelson Honored by NCAA

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The NCAA has honored Bowdoin's Joan Benoit Samuelson '79 as a Silver Anniversary Award recipient. One of the most respected honors in collegiate athletics, the Silver Anniversary Awards recognize former student-athletes who have distinguished themselves since completing their college athletics careers 25 years ago.

Samuelson is the lone Division III recipient in this year's class, along with Mark Johnson (Wisconsin), Gary Lawrence (Yale), Paul McDonald (Southern California), Greg Meredith (Notre Dame) and Dave Stoldt (Illinois).

A track and field standout at Bowdoin from 1976 to 1979, Samuelson also competed with the school's field hockey team in 1975-76.  She won the inaugural women's marathon at the U.S. Olympic Trails in 1984 and earned an Olympic gold medal in the event that same year.  Samuelson established world-best times with first-place finishes at the Boston Marathon in 1978 and 1983, and is the current American record holder after finishing first at the Chicago Marathon in 1985.

The Nordic coach for Freeport Middle School since 2001 and an athlete and consultant for Nike since 1978, Samuelson formerly served as the long-distance coach for the women's track team at Boston University from 1981 to 1983.  She has conducted running and health and fitness clinics nationally and internationally and is the author of two books.  Samuelson is an inductee into the International Women's Sports Foundation Hall of Fame, the National Distance Running Hall of Fame and the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame.

Samuelson has been a member of Bowdoin's board of trustees since 1995.  She is the founder and chair of the Peoples Beach to Beacon 10K road race, established in 1997, and also has performed public service with numerous organizations, including the National Resources Council of Maine, the Alzheimer's Foundation, the M.S. Society and the Massachusetts Association for the Blind.

The recipients were chosen by the NCAA Honors Committee, which is composed of administrators at member institutions and prominent citizens who also formerly were student-athletes. The honorees will be recognized Sunday, January 9, 2005 at the Honors Dinner during the NCAA Convention in Dallas.