Illini Legends, Lists & Lore: Happy 23rd, Joseph Bertrand

Illini Legends, Lists & Lore: Happy 23rd, Joseph Bertrand

Illinois’ Best Milers

Roger Bannister, the first man to break the four-minute barrier in the mile, celebrates his 85th birthday today. The Englishman’s time of 3:59.4 was set May 6, 1954. The current world record of 3:48.45 was established by Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj in 1997. The best time recorded in the mile by an Illini athlete was by Marko Koers, who went 3:53.47 on Aug. 30, 1996, in Berlin. Here are the best mile performances by Illini grads:

3:53.47, Marko Koers, 1996 (outdoors)
3:56.7, Mike Durkin, 1975 (outdoors)
3:57.37, Marko Koers, 2001 (indoors)
3:58.8, Lee LaBadie, 1971 (outdoors)
3:59.70, Marko Koers, 1996 (indoors)
4:00.17, Graham Morris, 2013 (indoors)
4:00.4, Rick Gross, 1972 (outdoors)
4:00.56, Len Sitko, 1991 (indoors)
4:00.68, Tom Stevens, 1982 (indoors)
4:00.70, Mike Durkin, 1974 (indoors)
4:00.8, Jeff Jirele, 1976 (outdoors)
4:00.94, Greg Domantay, 1983 (indoors)
4:01.04, Mike Durkin, 1974 (outdoors)
4:01.49, Jon Schmidt, 1982 (indoors)
4:01.5, Lee LaBadie, 1971 (outdoors)
4:02.30, Mike Patton, 1985 (indoors)
4:02.83, John Jacobson, 1989 (indoors)
4:02.84, Jeff Jirele, 1977 (indoors)
4:03.10, Lee LaBadie, 1970 (indoors)

Illini birthdays
Sunday: Joseph Bertrand, basketball (23)
Monday: Kyle Kleckner, football (31)
Tuesday: Holly Wilson, basketball (34)
Wednesday: Lou Campos, football (48)
Thursday: Evan Mizue, wrestling (37)
Friday: Victor Chukwedebe, basketball (36)
Saturday: Mary Eggers, volleyball (47)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore

Get Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter @B1GLLL and on Facebook at Big Ten Legends, Lists & Lore

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