Myers, Lon

Myers, (Lawrence Eugene) Lon

(1858–99) track athlete; born in Richmond, Va. Considered by many the greatest American track athlete of the 19th century, Myers dominated all running events from 100 yards to the mile from 1878 to 1885. For a time he held the American records at all those distances, though he excelled particularly at the middle distances, running the quarter mile in 48.8 seconds and the half mile in 1:55.4, all during a period when tracks were apt to be composed of an uneven surface of loose cinders. His only serious rival was the great English runner, Walter George, whom he defeated six of the nine times they raced.