Sunday, May 25


Here is my college pal Greg at his most graceful. We met Sophomore year at Brown thanks to Roger who convinced me to compete cross country (college swimming was a downer thanks to a generally miserable squad coached by Ed Reese).

I bounced swimming to join the 11th-ranked Bruins (today called the "Brown Bears") and made some wonderful friendships including Greg who was then, and remains today, a hero to us (ex)athletes and alumnae. Greg was the 1989 NCAA Champion in 3000m indoor with a 7:57.14 clocking. Then he beat arch-rival and future (now former) "Greatest American Miler", Little Joe Falcon from Arkansas. Greg was a six-time All-American (track & x-country) and holds many of Brown's records still. From 1993-1996 he was the American record holder for the 5000 meters on the road.

Greg was also 4th in the 1992 Olympic trials in the 1500 coming down from his natural strength, the 5000 race, due to injury and being out-of-shape. He missed a spot by one one-hundredth of a second. I recall like yesterday anxiously reading the papers to see if he had qualified.

I'm reminded of our friendship thanks to an email distribution today. Amongst other things, Greg comments on our '89 bet Senior year. He and I were a always competitive and agreed to challenge each other with a 1500 meter swim+10 mile road run. While it was unclear what the winner received (other than bragging rights) the bet gathered momentum within the track and athletic community. Sadly, thanks to my injury (lower back) the race was put on hold indefinitely.

I figured back then I would have to get about seven minutes on Greg during the swim then run a 57 or 58 minute ten-miler - probably impossible but the thought of seeing Whiteley over my shoulder still sends a thrill through me even today as I blog.