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Harrison Dillard '49

Harrison Dillard, a 1949 graduate of Baldwin Wallace University, is still the only male athlete to ever win Olympic gold medals in both the sprints and high hurdles. He is arguably the finest male student-athlete to ever attend BW and one of the all-time greatest sprinters and hurdlers in United States Olympic history.

Dillard, known as "Bones" to both friend and foe, was a fierce competitor who loved both the competition and friendships that occurred throughout his track and field career.

Dillard won four Olympic gold medals, two in 1948 in London, England and two more in 1952 in Helsinki, Finland. He won gold in the 100-meter dash, 110-meter high hurdles and two as a member of the 4x100-meter relay team.

At BW, he won four national collegiate titles in the high and low hurdles. He also took 14 AAU outdoor titles in the high and low hurdles and lost the opportunity for more because of the outbreak of World War II.

After winning a then world-record 82 straight hurdles races, Dillard failed to make the 1948 Olympic team as a hurdler but qualified in the 100 meters. In London, despite not running his best event, he outleaned the favored Barney Ewell of the U.S. to win the gold medal. He also won gold as a member of the relay team.

Four years later in Helsinki, Dillard won the gold medal in his trademark event, the 110-meter high hurdles by narrowly beating American Jack Davis. He also won his second gold in the 4x100-meter relay.

An outstanding starter, Dillard was virtually unbeatable indoors, winning the AAU 60-yard hurdles seven years in a row from 1947 through 1953 and again in 1955. A world record holder in both the high and low hurdles, Dillard won the 1955 Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete. He also is a member of 14 world and American halls of fame, including the BW Alumni Athletic Association Hall of Fame.

Dillard passed way on November 15 at the age of 96.

Records Held:

  • World Record: 120 yd. hurdles - 13.60 seconds (April 17, 1948 - )
  • Olympic Record: 100 m - 10.30 seconds (July 31, 1948 - )

Olympic and AAU Championships:

  • 1948 Olympics: 100-meter dash in 10.30 seconds (1st)
  • 1948 Olympics: 400-meter relay (1st)
  • 1952 Olympics: 110-meter high hurdles - 13.70 (1st)
  • 1952 Olympics: 400-meter relay (1st)
  • 1947 AAU: 60-yard high hurdles (1st)
  • 1948 AAU: 60-yard high hurdles (1st)
  • 1949 AAU: 60-yard high hurdles (1st)
  • 1950 AAU: 60-yard high hurdles (1st)
  • 1951 AAU: 60-yard high hurdles (1st)
  • 1952 AAU: 60-yard high hurdles (1st)
  • 1953 AAU: 60-yard high hurdles (1st)
  • 1955 AAU: 60-yard high hurdles (1st)

Other Harrison Dillard Links:

This page was last updated on November 18, 2019