One of the best American distance runners. In 1973, set the American high school 2-mile record, 8:40.9, on a 90-degree day -- the track was even sticking to his shoes. This broke Steve Prefontaine
's high school record, and is still the fastest time in an all-high school race. Later, he won two world cross-country championships (1980 and 1981), finished 2nd at Boston in his only marathon
, and would probably have won a medal at the Moscow Olympics if not for Jimmy Carter
's boycott. He also set an American record at 10,000m.
Unfortunately, Virgin is often overlooked in the history of American distance running, possibly because he excelled at distances between the "glory events" of the mile and the marathon, and most of all at the even less-noticed cross country
. The example quote puts it quite well.
When Steve Prefontaine met Craig Virgin, he said, "So you're the little shit that broke my record." Virgin replied, "And if I'd had the weather you had, I would have run 8:34."
"Virgin getting no love. (ba-zing!)" -Biscuit_AQ, DyeStat