Marty Liquori

Birthday: 09/11/49 Mile PR: 3:52.2 - 1975
Metric Mile (1500m) PR: 3:36.0 - 1971
High School: Essex Catholic HS '67
Hometown: Cedar Grove, NJ
College: Villanova '72
Current Residence: Gainesville, FL

Marty Liquori was a 1968 Olympian at 1500 meters, finishing 12th in Mexico City. At the age of 19, he was the youngest person to participate in the Olympic 1500 meter final. Liquori first broke 4 minutes for the Mile (3:59.8) in 1967, while in high school, making him the third U.S. high school boy to break the "magic" 4 minute barrier.

In 1969, Marty was ranked #1 in the world in the Mile and the 1500 meters. In 1971, the Villanova grad was again ranked #1 in the world (undefeated including the epic win over rival Jim Ryun in the first Dream Mile); he was the last American male to be world-ranked #1 in the 1500 / Mile.

Over the course of his career, Liquori won 14 national titles - 9 USA and 5 NCAA - ranging from the Mile (AAU, 3 indoor, 1969-70, '73, and 2 outdoor, 1969 & 1971) to 5000 meters. In 1977, he was the world’s #1 ranked for 5000m, also setting the U.S. record (13:15.06).

The New Jersey native is the only man to win three consecutive NCAA outdoor Mile titles (1969-71), all sub-4, setting the meet record twice: 3:57.7 in 1969 and 3:57.6 in 1971. In addition, he earned three consecutive Wanamaker Mile titles (1969-71).

In 2024, Marty Liquori was inducted into the Collegiate Track & Field / Cross Country Athlete Hall of Fame, third class.

FUN FACT: Marty, a former TV commentator, is an accomplished jazz guitarist.

FUN FACT II: He is also the co-founder of The Athlete Attic footwear chain in 1971.

Photo credit: Jeff Johnson



Great Matchups: Liquori Beats Ryun in The Dream Mile

September 16, 2020

“I wanted us both sagging in the stretch, looking more like boxers, both dead, like we were running on sand.”

From Track & Field News

Track's rich history is full of great head-to-head clashes. To kick off our new series of trips to the TFN vaults to find coverage of some of the most...

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Marty Liquori: Mr. Sub-4 at NCAAs

August 02, 2020

Villanova star won three outdoor NCAA Mile crowns, all sub-4, setting two meet records


Marty Liquori of Villanova beat a legend for his first victory at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

He was just a sophomore then and followed with two more NCAA Mile...

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Fab Five Mile Races

August 27, 2019

“I felt I could not have run a more perfect race.”

Steve Landells for the IAAF

The IAAF takes a look back at five unforgettable, historic races over the classic Mile distance.

1954 – Oxford, England

Roger Bannister’s Mile world record may have only lasted a mere 46 days but his place...

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New Jersey’s All-Time Sub-4 Minute Milers

May 09, 2019

Only one high school in the state has produced two sub-4 Milers.

By Jim Lambert, Mile Split NJ

With Monday marking the 65th anniversary of Roger Bannister becoming the first sub-4 minute Miler ever, this seemed like a perfect time to take a look at all the New Jersey high school grads who...

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Meet the Miler: Coach Greg Bixel

February 14, 2018

Growing up in Western PA, all my buddies wanted to be Terry Bradshaw (Pittsburgh Steelers QB). I wanted to be Marty Liquori!

By Bring Back the Mile

Our winner of the $500 for 500th U.S. Sub-4 Mile presented by Running Warehouse fan contest was Coach Greg Bixel of Pennsylvania. His guess of...

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Marty Liquori Profile

January 07, 2015

From Racing Past

Marty Liquori in full flight, still viewable on the Internet, has to be one of the finest sights in competitive running. He appeared on the running scene in 1967 as the third American high-schooler to break the 4 minute Mile. The 17-year-old from New Jersey was only seventh in...

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Liquori, Miler-Turned-Musician, Taking Life in Stride

July 18, 2014

"Playing a guitar is not a talent any more than running the Mile is a talent. It’s about work and taking a scientific approach to things and progressing.”

By Noel Neff,

There was a time when the world knew Marty Liquori for his legs and feet, which for a memorable...

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Memorial Stadium’s Finest Mile

April 26, 2013

"Ryun was so dominant, everyone in the stadium was on their feet," remembers Larry Knuth, a longtime Los Angeles track & field coach who was there that night. "People were going nuts."

By Cathrine Merlo, The Bakersfield Californian

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Those who were there still remember the...

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An interview with Mile legend Marty Liquori

August 31, 2011

"In those days the Mile was such a glamour event that it was better to be the fifth best Miler in the world than the top 5000 meter runner.”

From Gary Cohen Running

Marty Liquori earned the silver medal in the 5000 meters at the 1977 World Cup in an American record 13:15.06. He has ranked #1...

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Liquori’s Dream Mile Anniversary Quiet

May 16, 2011

By Robbie Andreu, The Gainesville Sun

Marty Liquori’s phone has been relatively quiet the past week. That’s not the way it used to be with the approach of a significant anniversary of the Dream Mile.

“When it was 10 years, 20 years, I’d get a lot of phone calls about it,” he said. “But you...

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Forty Years After a Dream Mile, a Harsh Reality for Track

May 15, 2011

By Tim Connelly, The New York Times

The news that the Millrose Games are leaving Madison Square Garden after 97 years to relocate uptown to the 168th Street armory reminds us of how indifferent we are to track and field. And yet, in a coincidence of timing, we remember, too, that we were not...

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The Ryun vs. Liquori Duels

December 08, 2009

Mile legends & Olympians, the Ali-Frazier of the track world, produced some epic races vs. each other

By Villanova Running

So far as I am aware, Marty Liquori and Jim Ryun raced each other a total of eight times. Ryun won the first four races. The fifth race -- the 1969 NCAA Indoor...

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Is There Hope for U.S. Milers?

May 06, 2004

By Dick Patrick, USA Today

Fifty years ago today, Roger Bannister recorded the first sub-four-minute Mile — 3:59.4. Since then, as the world record has improved 16 seconds, elite U.S. male Milers have become practically an endangered species.

In an Olympic year, the talk isn't if the USA will...

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A Record Goes Bust

May 26, 1975

Sprinting away from a classy field in Kingston, Jamaica's Dream Mile, 21-year-old Filbert Bayi of Tanzania broke Jim Ryun's 8-year-old world record to clearly establish that he is the King of the Milers

By Ron Reid, Sports Illustrated

It was a world record performance that defied logic, a set...

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A Dream Comes True

May 24, 1971

It was advertised as the Dream Mile, and though for the contestants it often seemed like the Nightmare Marathon the race lived up to its billing as Marty Liquori held off Jim Ryun on the last turn to win

By Pat Putnam, Sports Illustrated

For the first three-eighths of a Mile, it could have...

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