Class of 1967
Bio: Mike Solomon’s high school cross country career spanned 1963 to 1967 in which the Lions won three CIF/SS “AAA” titles, 1963, 1965 and 1966, and were runners up once, 1964. Individually, Mike placed 12th, 4th, 6th and 2nd. The Lions also captured 4 straight Sunset League titles, Mike was the Lion’s first individual league champion in 1964 and placed 2nd in 1965.
During his high school track season’s Mike won the 1966 Sunset League mile and placed third in the CIF/SS mile earning a state meet berth in which he placed 7th to winner Tim Danielson, the second high school sub four minute miler. Mike’s senior year opened in the indoor season in which he won the Los Angeles Times indoor mile, defeating the California State two mile champ, Pete Romero, from Reedly High School. Mike retained his Sunset League mile title and won the CIF/SS mile title at Mt. SAC in 4:09.2 (third fastest in the U.S.) and won the California State mile title in San Diego. He was invited to participate in the Goldenwest Invitational which was won by Marty Liquouri, the 3rd high schooler to break the 4:00 minute mile. Mike won three consecutive cross country MVP awards. He also was named Westminster’s Most Inspirational Athlete in 1967. Mike remains the highest decorated runner in Westminster history.
Mike attended college at the University of Kansas where he was a teammate of Jim Ryun, the first high schooler to run a sub four minute mile and a former world record holder in the 800 meters 1,500 meters and mile. While a member of the track teams, Kansas won three straight Big 8 Outdoor Conference titles 1968-70, a Central Collegiate Conference Indoor title (1969), two NCAA Indoor titles 1969 and 1970 and one NCAA Outdoor title, 1970. Individually, Mike was the 1970 Big 8 mile runner-up in 1970 and advanced to the NCAA outdoor semifinals, losing on a contested fourth place finish. He also ran on two Kansas Relays Championship teams: on the 4xmile team with Kathol, Solomon, Smith and Ryun in 1969 and the Distance Medley in 1970 with Mattingly, Julian, Solomon and Smith. In cross country, Mike was on the 1968 Big 8 championship team that placed 16TH at the NCAA’s and was the first Westminster runner to compete at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. He also competed at the 1970 Big 8 championships. As a senior at Kansas, Mike defeated Tennessee’s three-time Olympian, 1972, 76 and 80, two- time NCAA steeplechase champion, 1973-74, Doug Brown, in the Liberty Bowl’s indoor two mile. Mike won and Brown placed second. Brown was the SEC runner-up in the indoor two mile that season. Brown also won a silver team medal in the 1983 World Cross Country Championships as well as being a numerous All-American in Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field.
Internationally, Mike competed in the1969 Maccabi Games in Israel (he participated on the U.S. team) and placed third in the 1,500 meters and in the 5,000 meters. He again participated in the 1973 Maccabi Games (he participated on the Israeli team) winning the 1,500 meter run. He was selected to participate in the 1973 Asian Games in the Philippines on the Israeli national team. And as a member of the University of Kansas track team he participated in a United States State Department track and field team that toured the Caribbean on a goodwill tour in 1970.
After competing, Mike began coaching in 1972 at Long Beach State with Dr. Jack Rose and Ted Banks winning the Pacific Coast Athletic Association title. He re-united with Coach Banks at the University of Texas, El Paso in the period 1974 to 1976 winning Western Athletic Conference titles in indoor track 1974-76, and outdoor titles in 1975 and 1976. The Miners also won NCAA titles in cross country (1975), indoor track (1975-76) and outdoor track (1975).
He is presently working with select Kenyan universities with a study abroad program to bring student-athletes to Kenya for university credits and having them train under Kenyan national coaches.
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1966 CIF/SS “AAA” Cross Country Championship Team
(Top row: Charlie Parks, Dennis Lyman, Tim Schroll, Coach Hedges
Bottom row: Kenny Trentadue, Mike Solomon, Neil Sybert, Don Beachler)
1970 Kansas/UCLA Dual Meet
(Left front: Mike Solomon, Kansas; next to him right front: Rich Elliott, Kansas behind Elliott, Hartzell Alpizar, Ucla;
behind Solomon, Ron Fister Western HS, UCLA, behind Fister, Doug Smith Kansas. Unknown UCLA runner behind them)
Mike at the NCAA Cross Country Meet with the winning team UTEP
UTEP’s Karuki’s All American Award. Mike gave this to me since he’s so fond of me.
UTEP’s 1976 NCAA Team Championship Award. Again who’s Mike’s favorite?