by Daniel Olsen
Once a week, we will be highlighting an inductee of the Utah Sports Hall of Fame. This week’s inductee is former Utah State track star Mark Enyeart.
Few half-mile harriers in state history have matched the success of USU runner Mark Enyeart. While he started out as a quarter-mile specialist, he made the switch to the half mile later on. It’s safe to say it paid off for him in his running career.
Perhaps his most impressive performance came in 1975 at the NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championships. The Uintah High School product would compete against the best and end up taking first place. He defeated the likes of Rick Wohlhuter. This rival would later go on to become a USA legend in the 800 meter race.
In the 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal, Enyeart was selected as one of the runners to represent Team USA. He was put in Heat 6 and did not qualify for the semifinals. He was only .14 seconds away from qualifying, but was edged out by Luciano Sušanj of Yugoslavia. Enyeart’s time of 1:47.82 was a far cry from the 1:44 he had run in college. However, he could still hold his head high for representing his country well. Wohlhuter, the same runner that Enyeart had beaten twice in NCAA Nationals and AAU the year prior, won the gold medal for the 800 at the 1976 Olympic Games.
Enyeart returned to once again win NCAA Nationals in his senior year in the 800. He established himself as one of the greatest distance runners not only in USU history, but as one of the best in the entire nation during his era of dominance. To put this in perspective, only 19 athletes have ever won this event twice in their collegiate careers. Enyeart should be a household name for all Aggie fans in Logan.
Featured image courtesy Utah State Athletics