April 22, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Before the start of the 120th running of the Penn Relay Carnival on Thursday, Penn Relay officials announced that former Navy men’s track and field coach Earl Thomson will be inducted into the meet’s Wall of Fame as part of its induction Class of 2014.
According to the official announcement by the Penn Relays, inductees are picked solely for their accomplishments at the Penn Relays and that achievements at any other meet are not considered. Also, for an athlete’s nomination to be considered, he or she must be retired or competing only at the masters level.
A world record holder and Olympic gold medalist, Thomson ran some of his best races on the Franklin Field track. A three-time winner of the 120-yard hurdles, he ran 15.0 to equal the meet record in 1922 and also won the discus that year.
Thomson went on to become the head coach at the Naval Academy, which became the first Eastern team to win the NCAA track title in 1945 in his first season at the helm. Under his tutelage at the Academy, Thomson coached three individual NCAA Outdoor Track Champions and eight All-Americans (7 outdoor and 1 indoor). In nine trips to the NCAA Outdoor Track Championships, Thomson led the Midshipmen to four top 20 finishes.
Thomson is joined by other individuals Mike Stahr (Carmel High School, 1983; Arizona State, 1984; Georgetown, 1988; New York Pioneers, 1989), Anthony Washington (Syracuse, 1990) and Cheryl Taplin (LSU, 2003). The Penn Relay officals also announced four relay teams to enter the wall of fame, which included the 1914 Oxford University four-mile relay team, 1939 Pittsburgh 880-yard relay team, the 1964 Kingston College High School 440-yard relay team and LSU’s 2003 shuttle hurdle relay team.