I agree that Shorter and Salazar were great runners, but what about Craig Virgin ? Not only is he the only American male to WIN the toughest footrace in the world...the World Cross Country (which did TWICE) but he was also a force on the road and track. The way Virgin raced also is a big factor .Not only could he use his head, but he could lead, surge like an African (succesfully!), or even kick (occasionally & not as succesful). He was a great high school runner -8:40 2M prep record .He was a great college runner who was overshadowed by older foregin runners, but made no excuses & won a NCAA title. He also made 3 U.S. Olympic teams at 10,000m . He was still in college when he made the '76 team. 1980 is still one of the best 10K battles ever (vs. Lindsay) and he certainly would have medaled in Moscow. Mentally he was as tough as they come. His 1st U.S. record at 10,000 was at a very windy U.S. championships. He asked Shorter & Robbie Perkins to help but they would not or could not. He sucked it up and broke Pre's record alone in a performance probably superior to his P.R. or any other U.S .10,000 time so far. His marathoning was not the very best, but he didn't focus on it solely. It took all Seko had to break him at Boston & Virgin had just come off his 2nd WXC title & an American road 10,000 the previous weeks. Remember he did this with all the physical problems (the Kidney situation that he was not suppose to live through). His accomplishments are to numerous to list, but he has definately NOT recived the recognition he deserves.
John Erickson
Craig Virgin #3 US all time 10k 27:29.16 More Craig Virgin...
and here